Bharti Airtel Granted 3G License in Rwanda
India's Bharti Airtel has announced that it has been awarded a GSM and 3G license in Rwanda, expanding its African continental footprint to 17 countries.
The company added that it plans to invest over US$100 million in the country over the next three years. According to the statement, this also marks the largest investment out of India into Rwanda.
Sunil Bharti Mittal, CMD, Bharti Airtel said, "Rwanda is a key telecom market with immense growth potential and will strengthen Bharti Airtel's footprint in East Africa."
According to the National Statistics Institute of Rwanda, the mobile penetration in the country was 38.4%, as of July 2011.
Last year, the regulator, the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) said that it would award a fourth mobile license when conditions were correct. However, last month, the regulator cancelled the mobile network operating license held by another network operator, Rwandatel for allegedly failing to meet its license conditions.
The market now has just two networks, until Airtel launches its network.
The company may have the option of buying the defunct Rwandatel network to speed its launch into the country.