Rwanda : Airtel announces 3G rollout in Rwanda

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Airtel announces 3G rollout in Rwanda

Approximately two months since Bharti Airtel launched in Rwanda, the third telecommunications company has announced its plans to rollout 3G services in the next quarter.

Airtel launched its mobile services in Rwanda in March, and is currently running a 2G network. IBM and Ericsson have agreed with the company to help build and manage its network for better services.

“Although Kigali is currently operating on a 2G network, the company also plans to launch 3G services in the market within the upcoming quarter,” stated a statement from the company.

“Airtel plans to invest $100 million (approximately Rwf65 billion) in its operations over the next three years and will work towards generating both direct and indirect employment opportunities.”

Through the investiments that it will make, Airtel will over the next three years work towards generating both direct and indirect employment opportunities within its ecosystem.

The Indian based Bharti Airtel already has its presence in 16 African countries including Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

It made its entry into Africa by acquiring Kuwait-based Zain Telecom for about $ 10.7 billion.

Airtel came into the market finding MTN Rwanda, which has 2,892,827 subscribers and TIGO Rwanda with 1,553,367.

MTN Rwanda began operations in 1998, while Tigo, which is owned by Luxembourg-based Millicom International Cellular SA (MICC), started operations in 2009.

The operator comes after the sector regulator revoked Rwandatel’s (once a third operator) GSM operating licence, after failing to fulfil its licence obligations, according to RURA.

Rwanda is among the fastest growing telecom markets in Africa. According to the National Statistics of Rwanda, mobile penetration was at 38.4 percent as of July 2011.

The rapidly growing private sector presents many opportunities for the development of the telecommunications industry and the country’s economy.

World Bank statistics show that each 10 percent of broadband penetration results in a 1.3A percent increase in per capita GDP growth in developing countries.




About the author

Mr. Sina is the Managing Partner & Chief Editor of RwandaEye. After completing his post-graduation from the Faculty of Economics and Management, National University of Rwanda,he worked in various consulting capacities for equity and business firms in Kigali. A shrewd strategist, he is an Economic Pundit, entrepreneur and Investment Banker.

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