TOP STORY: New Artel rebrands to increase ICT penetration

New Artel last year benefited from government’s Rwf1.5b universal access fund to provide telecommunication services in rural areas that MTN Rwanda and Rwandatel do not cover New Artel, a government Information Communication Technology (ICT) company over the weekend unveiled its new brand. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of New Artel, Francis Karemera, said that the new look comes with promises that it will contribute to the country’s Vision 2020 for economic development through ICT.
New Artel’s satelitte equipment. (File Photo).
New Artel’s satelitte equipment. (File Photo).

New Artel last year benefited from government’s Rwf1.5b universal access fund to provide telecommunication services in rural areas that MTN Rwanda and Rwandatel do not cover

New Artel, a government Information Communication Technology (ICT) company over the weekend unveiled its new brand.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of New Artel, Francis Karemera, said that the new look comes with promises that it will contribute to the country’s Vision 2020 for economic development through ICT. He said that under the new face, it now takes about 24 hours to get connected after applying for bandwidth.

“This is because of the establishment of field offices in all provinces countrywide and the use of both radio and satellite transmissions,” Karemera explained.

One of the latest services under the new look is the Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial (DVB-T) connection, which is the modern standard for the broadcast transmission of digital terrestrial television.

This system transmits compressed digital audio, video and other data in a Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) transport stream, using COFDM modulation.

New Artel also established Virtue Private Network (VPN) that uses a public telecommunication infrastructure, with a footprint covering three-quarters of Africa.

This allows corporate entities to keep in touch with remote branches and strategic posts. Well as connectivity from New Artel to the database servers are provided via terrestrial Fiber Optic network or a radio link.

The government agency that also works with the utility authority (Rura) and development board (RDB), operates iDirect 5IF which is a powerful Internet Protocol based hub that is operated on Intelsat, the leading provider of fixed satellite services (FSS) worldwide, a full coverage to the majority of Africa.

Against this background, the company guarantees 99.8 percent link availability, even with the small terminals (VSAT) used by New Artel.

This believed to enable the company to provide the required bandwidth at any moment to all regions extending from the Sahara desert to South Africa.

All these applications are expected to increase the Internet bandwidth that can bridge the digital divide across the country.

As the largest supplier of internet access in Rwanda, New Artel targets to deliver internet trunk to 120Mbps by end of this month and lower the cost of connection to below US$1800Mbps/month by mid this year.

Currently, the company offers subsidised bandwidth at Rwf275,000/Mbps/month.

Karemera added that the company is committed to drive down the cost of communication in the country by evaluating new technologies and optimising the existing one.

With operating sites in rural areas equipped with adequate bandwidth, most government institutions in rural areas are connected. Some of these include, health centres and schools among others.

However management explained that capacity increased is also backed by the lay out of the national backbone optic cable, targeting to improve rural connectivity and turn Rwanda into a knowledge-based economy.

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