MTN Rwanda has unveiled its mobile internet service, a move that seeks to transform the telecom giant from a predominantly voice service provider to a fully fledged telecom solution provider.

Excited mobile phone users with GPRS enabled handsets were attracted to know they could easily subscribe to the service that allows them access to internet everywhere on the MTN Rwanda network.

Officials say subscribers are now also able to access the internet by connecting their personal computers (PCs) to GPRS capable mobile phones or through a GSM/GPRS modem.

"The MTN internet service will carry a fixed monthly charge meaning that once the payment is made, the customer will have unlimited access to the service for a month," a statement issued on Monday said.

"The internet is a revolutionary technology that allows MTN Rwanda subscribers access affordable and reliable internet from anywhere in the country that is covered by the wide MTN network. It is the first of its kind in Rwanda-another milestone by MTN," Albert Kinuma MTN Marketing manager was quoted as saying.

MTN currently covers a geographical landscape of 90% of the entire nation. Subscribers will have to part with Frw 20,000 (US$35) per month for internet services and normal prepaid charges for the voice calls. Post-paid customers will pay Frw 18,000 (US$ 32) for internet services and the normal post paid charges.

Users have the option of Internet access only connections without voice calls for Frw 18,000 (US$32) only as monthly charge.

"MTN Rwanda has set up demonstration stands that are going to be spread across the country to help clients understand the use of the internet service. It is simple, affordable, and reliable and a fast speed internet connection our esteemed clients, must not miss out on!" Kinuma said.

MTN Rwanda is part of the South African based MTN Group Limited, which was launched in 1994 with 20 million subscribers in nine countries across Africa. Recently, the Group announced the successful purchase of a 49% shareholding in IranCell of Iran.

East African Business Week