Rwandatel Seeks Alternative Route to Seacom


Rwandatel is currently negotiating an alternative route for undersea fiber optic connection through TEAMS cable which comes through Tanzania via Burundi to Kigali, the Company has announced.

This will reduce heavy reliance on SEACOM, the largest fiber optic cable carrier along the Indian Ocean coast.

This follows massive internet disruptions experienced last month after the SEACOM marine submarine cable that transmits the bandwidth was damaged by a ship amid repairs on the cable.

According to Issiaka Maiga Hamidou, the company's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), while internet connection has now stabilized with completion of the repairs, the company is keen on finding an alternative route to increase network stability and reduce costs.

"We have also added on our bandwidth so that next time if SEACOM is down we have enough capacity. We intend to connect with Tanzania so that the problem of disconnection is over," Hamidou told a press briefing on Tuesday.

The telecom company is currently dominating internet market share with 65 percent coverage for data.

For mobile internet, the Company charges a flat rate of Rwf41,300 per month on both 2G and 3G to have the connectivity.

Hamidou said negotiations are ongoing to have the connection by the end of 2010 with the Rusomo border as the landing point.

"Our entire roll out will be by fiber from the border to Kigali," he said.

The CEO said his company is also targeting fiber connection to reduce high maintenance costs of its microwave connection system.

While Rwandatel currently spends at least Rwf5 million monthly on only configuration repairs, Hamidou said the bill shoots up to Rfw50 million including operating costs.

"The cable is reliable and also very good quality and we are sure the price will not be very high and the customer also will appreciate," he said.

The CEO also noted that the Company is currently in negotiation with other operators to agree on how to share the fiber optic cable as soon government completes laying the pipe.