Rwandatel and Huawei Technologies, a global leader in providing the next generation telecommunication network have signed a $35 million network expansion contract.
The Frw19.2 billion agreement paves way for Rwandatel to start offering mobile phone services that MTN Rwanda has been a monopoly.
Rwandatel’s venturing in investing mobile telephony services may see the two telecom companies locked in call tariffs wars, like it is, in some neibouring countries. MTN Rwanda recently reduced their local and international call tariffs by almost half on average, recently.
However Rwandatel promises consumers more affordable tariffs before the year ends. “We shall be in every part of the country. Expect more affordable call tariffs and better services before this year ends,” Victor Kinuma, the Rwandatel marketing manager said.
With this contract, Rwandatel will be able to rollout the new infrastructure that will support its GSM and 3G UMTS network services countrywide.
Patrick Kariningufu the Rwandatel chief executive officer said: “the GSM will cover most of the populated areas and roads, while the 3G UMTS will mostly cover urban centres”.
The landline network will be replaced by the public switched telephone network (PSTN), a new generation network (NGN).
The signing of this deal comes two onths only after LAP Green Networks, a subsidiary of the Libyan African portfolio (LAP) which is an arm of the Libyan government acquire Rwandatel.
The Libyan firm won a bid to take over 80 percent shares in Rwandatel after agreeing to pay $100 million (about Frw54 million) for the public telecom firm. It promised to invest over 300 million in 15 years, to revamp the telecom sector in the country.
Rwandatel also announced that soon a $40 million contract is to be signed with a firm they did not want to name. If concluded, the deal will see Rwandatel grow into a highly profitable and socially responsible firm.
The minister of finance and economic planning James Musoni pledged to support Huawei Technologies in its ventures in Rwanda.