New Artel Rwanda has said that it will deliver the high data rate Internet access from Seacom’s undersea fibre-optic cable through the national backbone.
The government-owned Internet Service Provider (ISP) had planed to land the submarine cable to Rwanda through Uganda Telecom’s Point-of-Presence (POP), Rwandatel.
Officials said that it was discovered that Rwandatel does not have the capability of delivering the 155 Mbs capacity, something that caused delays in the implementation of the project.
“In order to have a more reliable connectivity, the capacity will be delivered through the national backbone fibre-optic by UTL from Gatuna to Kigali,” Francis Karemera, CEO of New Artel said in interview on Tuesday.
Currently, there is a focus on accelerating the deployment of Kigali-Gatuna link which is critical to connecting Rwanda to the submarine cable.
Rwanda Development Board (RDB)-ICT expects to deliver the national backbone to Gatuna boarder by the end of February in order to route the data to Kigali.
Artel was supposed to land Seacom’s cable by November last year.
The impediment to deliver the capacity was discovered by a survey done by Rwanda Utility Regulatory Agency (RURA), New Artel and UTL.
When contacted, Rwandatel’s Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Basilio Sadindi, said they did not receive any communication from New Artel.
“The contract is between New Artel and SEACOM. However, SEACOM had verbally requested Rwandatel to deliver the capacity but nothing has been communicated to stop us, we were still waiting for New Artel to ask for connection. We have the capacity,” Sadindi said.
Authorities say that government had finalised negotiations with Seacom and that technical issues were being handled between UTL and Rwandatel.
Karemera, said that SEACOM’s 5 Synchronous Transport Module (5STM-1) needed five fibre pairs from Gatuna (Uganda-Rwanda boarder) to Kigali yet Rwandatel had only one cable.
New Artel will offer 155 Mbps to Kigali Metropolitan Network to connect ministries, universities and districts as the priority.
The plan is to connect the capacity to New Altel building to the national fibre by splicing five fibre pairs in the metro manhole located at their head offices
With the national backbone being linked to Seacom’s cable it is expected that the only one fibre will be utilised.