During the first edition of 2013 Transform Africa summit, ktRN unveiled 4G LTE network on the Rwandan soil and the plan was to rollout the fastest internet at that time to the rest of the country in the next 5 years.
Four years later, the entire country is covered with 4G LTE thanks to the joint partnership between KtRn—the 4G LTE wholesaler and only infrastructure company in Rwanda—and the government.
“During the Last 4 years of our Operation,” Patrick Yoon, Chief Executive of KtRn says, “we have been facing many difficulties and inconveniences.”
Most of the challenges came from the business model itself—which was a unique wholesale business model, Yoon said.
The journey so far…
In 2013, the government of Rwanda and Korean Telecom (KT) signed to launch 4G wholesale business model—a very unique business model in the world at that time.
Two years later in 2015, 4G coverage had reached 26 per cent of the country and also launched first 4G on mobile with former tigo.
In 2016, 4G connectivity had gone as far as 62 per cent and launched some value added services such as CCTV on 4G, Games, Content delivery services, among others.
“Now Finally we are in 2018, KTRN is announcing to complete 4G LTE coverage more than 95% of population nationwide,” a seemingly thrilled Yoon noted.
He noted that this is the first time to have such a countrywide 4G network coverage on the African continent, also adding that there is only a small number of countries that have more than 95 per cent of population with 4G LTE coverage around the world.
The President of KT, Kyung-lim Yun, noted that as the world faces the wave of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the faster internet will facilitate the creating, and developing new services beyond telecom industry such as smart medicine, smart security and smart energy service as well.
The plan, he said, is also to make Rwanda the regional service hub—expanding 4G LTE connectivity and other future internet solutions to other countries in the region.
“Simply put, the 4th industrial revolution is to converge and connect diverse industries on the basis of connectivity. In that regard, we have just begun and now ready to join this wave of change. Also, we are closer to fulfilling the objectives of ICT vision Rwanda 2020.
“We need to create many converged services and innovations on top of this newly constructed 4G LTE environment. I can assure you, KT, as a global partner, along with Rwanda will come up with local innovations in addition to the 4G network and place Rwanda as a leading African nation,” Yun said.
According to the Minister of ICT Jean de Dieu Rurangirwa, the national coverage of 4G Network will enable development of more technological solutions.
Rurangirwa also acknowledges that the national coverage of 4G network can boost quality education, extend better medical services to rural areas, and accelerate the transformation of Rwanda' s agriculture economy into a knowledge based economy.
Minister’s comments were echoed by The Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Kigali, Diane Karusisi.
“Faster internet has enabled us to roll out more mobile banking solutions which helps out clients to access their bank services from every corner of the country,” Karusisi said.
Meanwhile KtRn also launched a 4G Square in Rusizi district yesterday.
The event was attended by several local government officials and hundreds of residents from Rusizi town and neighboring area.
District Mayor Frederic Harerimana commended the move to serve the town with the faster 4G LTE internet saying it will enable business growth in one of Rwanda’s busiest secondary cities