Rwanda 4G LTE project model wins global award

Rwanda 4G LTE (Fourth Generation Long-Term Evolution Internet) has been feted with the Global Telecom Business Innovation Award for its innovative business model.
A new mast for 4G LTE in Nyamirambo, a Kigali suburb. (File)
A new mast for 4G LTE in Nyamirambo, a Kigali suburb. (File)

Rwanda 4G LTE (Fourth Generation Long-Term Evolution Internet) has been feted with the Global Telecom Business Innovation Award for its innovative business model.

The awards, organised by the Global Telecom Business Magazine, recognised Rwanda for developing a private public-partnership business model.

The awards also considered the innovative market structure through single wholesale network, and speed of rollout across the country.

The award went to the partnership between the Rwandan Government and Korea Telecoms, South Korea’s largest telecommunications provider, who make up Olleh Rwanda Networks.

As principal shareholders, Korea Telecoms role was to bring in expertise and financial investments while the government was to lay a 3,000 kilometre-national fibre optic cable.

Rwanda commercially launched 4G Internet technology in November, last year, which is sold on wholesale basis by Olleh Rwanda Networks and retailed by several internet service providers, including telecoms MTN and Airtel.

Receiving the award at a ceremony in London, United Kingdom, the Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, invited other ICT industry players to Rwanda to help accelerate efforts toward delivering the promise of broadband to the economy and Rwandans in general.

“The Government of Rwanda congratulates our partner Korea Telecom on this award which recognises President Paul Kagame’s vision of making ICT a central component of the country’s rapid socio-economic transformation,” Nsengimana said.

The pricing and packaging of the technology has been revised severally in past months by retailers in a bid to increase uptake.

The network is expected to cover 95 per cent of the population by 2017, with the current Internet penetration standing at about 28 per cent.

The adoption of the technology in Rwanda has been recognised severally as a step towards a knowledge driven society, including recently by International Telecommunication Union secretary-general Zhao Houlin, who was in Rwanda in February.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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