TOP STORY: Rwandatel set to launch 3G, GSM mobile services

3G is a specification of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The technology promises increased bandwidth, up to 384 Kbps when a device is stationary  and 2 Mbps in fixed applications Rwandatel is set to launch its 3G and GSM network technology on Friday. This means that Rwandatel subscribers will now be able to enjoy the services that come with SIM card handsets.
A newly mounted Rwandatel billboard in Remera yesterday. (Photo/D. Kezio Musoke).
A newly mounted Rwandatel billboard in Remera yesterday. (Photo/D. Kezio Musoke).

3G is a specification of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The technology promises increased bandwidth, up to 384 Kbps when a device is stationary  and 2 Mbps in fixed applications

Rwandatel is set to launch its 3G and GSM network technology on Friday. This means that Rwandatel subscribers will now be able to enjoy the services that come with SIM card handsets.

Rwandatel handsets have previously not been using SIM cards. According to Rwandatel officials, 3G and GSM, mobile service were supposed to have been launched early this year but were delayed by several challenges.

The delay is also attributed to the post-election violence in Kenya that interfered with the shipment of the equipment needed to set up the network.

Cleophas Kabasiita, the Public Relations Manager of Rwandatel said that Rwandatel’s GSM services are set to be launched officially on Friday.

The company is also set to launch its special prepaid offer which includes spending only 1000 Rfw for a SIM card.

The SIM card comes with calling airtime of 1000 Rfw.

Rwandatel has also set the SMS price at 20 Rfw for each SMS recording the lowest price ever.

According to Rwandatel officials the company is introducing a “per second billing” system and the call tariff will be set as low as 80 Rfw per minute for all calls.

Kabasiita says that currently Rwandatel has between 50,000 and 60,000 subscribers on voice, data and Internet services.

3G is a specification of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The technology promises increased bandwidth, up to 384 Kbps when a device is stationary or moving at pedestrian speed, 128 Kbps in a car, and 2 Mbps in fixed applications.

This kind of technology works over wireless air interfaces such as GSM, TDMA, and CDMA.

With this kind of technology Rwandatel will have a capacity to serve more than 1 million subscribers over a specified period of time.

With 3G GSM, the user is able to conduct wireless video calls and access broadband data in the mobile environment.

Investing in modern technology is part of the innovations that the Libyan African Portfolio (LAP) Green, a Libyan company that purchased 80 per cent shares in Rwandatel has embarked on.

The move is to turn around the formerly indebted firm with few subscribers into a competitive business.

Lap Green promised to invest $317m (Rfw173b) over 15 years period to revamp the telecom sector in the country.

“We have constructed 80 base stations out of the 154 planned to be rolled out countrywide to support our 3G GSM system,” she said. This is the fastest rollout and heavy investment in the telecommunication sector in Rwanda.

Rwandatel customers will therefore be part of the millions of customers in Africa that enjoy 3G GSM services.

Vodacom provides 3G GSM services to customers in South Africa, Tanzania, Lesotho, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of Congo among others.

The Libyan firm took over shares in Rwandatel after agreeing to pay $100 million.

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