INTERNET

Kigali City Wibro Network Launched

Kigali Wireless Broadband (WiBro) Network and the Kigali Metropolitan Network (KMN) were officially launched on Wednesday after two years of work on the infrastructure development.

With the two projects, which were deployed by Korea Telecom (KT), Internet users in Kigali city will be able to enjoy data connectivity and VoIP services. WiBro is a wireless broadband Internet technology which allows people on the move to remain connected to the Web.

KMN (Fibre Optic cable) is a large computer network that spans a metropolitan area. It also provides Internet connectivity for Local Area Networks (LANs) in a metropolitan region, and connects them to wider area networks like the Internet.

During the projects unveiling ceremony, Rwanda Development Board's (RDB) new CEO, John Gara, said that a total of 46 government institutions are already enjoying the connectivity. "This technology will cater for data, voice and video transmission plus other value added services that the market may require," Gara explained.

He also added that with this type of modern technology, connection to homes, businesses as well as the private sector will lead to access of affordable and reliable services. Government is targeting to have over 4 million Rwandans gain access to high speed Internet within the next two to three years, partly facilitated by the Rwf4.5 billion WiBro project.

The KMN will increase broadband availability to more than 700 Rwandan institutions including schools, health-care centres and local government administrative centres. Korean Telecom was also contracted by the government in a related project to lay the national fibre-optic cable that will be linked to the undersea cable.

RDB's Deputy CEO in charge of IT, Patrick Nyirishema, revealed that the project will be completed next year. "We are going to have a trial period for three months as we monitor the stability of the connection then we will go commercial," Nyirishema explained.

The national backbone is expected to consist of a high-speed fibre-optic network that will link 36 main points in Rwanda's 30 districts, with a 2,300-kilometre cable running across the country. The Rwf22.7 billion project also includes training and managing the cable installation.

KT was also contracted by the government to build one of Africa's safest storage facilities, the National Data Centre (NDC). First of its kind in Africa, the NDC will connect and allow secure access to information from government offices, health and education sectors as well as the socio-economic data of the country.

The centre has capacity to back up the institutions' data on the Rwanda system and the commercial area will be provided for companies and NGOs that would wish to back up their information. The project had been expected be complete by December this year but the finalising time was extended and it not yet clear when it will be complete.

The New Times

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