Rwanda to launch an open-access LTE network

Telecoms

Olleh Rwanda Networks (ORN), a joint-venture between Rwandan government and KT Corporation Korea are set to deploy an open-access 4G LTE wireless broadband network on 1 September 2014 in the Great Lakes country.

The project stems from combination of KT’s expertise and approximately $140 million cash injection, with government’s assignment of its over 3,000 km fibre optic network, spectrum and a wholesale-only operator license.

The platform has successfully gone through a series of tests and will offer 4G connectivity to local MNOs and ISPs on a wholesale basis.

Though many parts of Kigali are already covered with free wireless 3G internet, Rwanda wants to have 95 percent of citizens connected to the internet by 2017, up from 20 percent this year. As per a recent report by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), such a penetration would translate into a 10 to 13 percent boost in GDP growth.

Rwanda as of today is only the second sub-Saharan African country, after Tanzania to complete the switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting as per ITU ruling. Global deadline set by ITU for the switchover is 2015. Rwanda’s switchover has freed up frequencies for 4G mobile broadband usage, which the East African ICT leader is making use of.

Source: Central African Business  27 August 2014