Rwandatel has announced it is in final preparations of switching to Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) technology. The telecommunication company is building towers, generators and base station antenna countrywide to allow smooth transition from the current CDMA technology to the improved widely used GSM.
With GSM, Rwandatel subscribers will be able to use their phones on GSM networks all over the world. It is hoped that switching to GMS would put Rwandatel to closer competition with MTN Rwanda. Management of Rwandatel said the GSM service will be launched in two to three months time.
Rwandatel has invested $56m in equipment and training to prepare staff for new technology demands.
“We intend to have as many base stations as MTN. What they achieved in eight years, we hope to achieve in a period of one year,” Victor Kinuma, the Marketing Manager Rwandatel said.
Romain Murenzi, State Minister for Science and Technology inspected facilities of the telecom company. While briefing the minister, Patrick Patrick Kariningufu, the Rwandatel Chief Executive Officer said $56m is part of the $87m Lap-Green pledged to invest within one year after acquisition of majority shares in Rwandatel. The investment comes six months after the acquisition of 80 per cent of Rwandatel by Libya’s LAP Green.
“We are ready to operate the GSM network and targeting to bring in innovative products and give Rwandans variety of choices,” Kariningufu said.
The equipment kept in a 2,200 square metre warehouse at Rwandex is supplied by Huawei Technologies, one of the world’s leading telecommunication industries.
Rwandatel the second mobile telephone operator covers only 5 per cent of the market share with about 60,000 subscribers while MTN Rwanda, the other player in the market and the only GSM operator covers the remaining percentage with 600,000 subscribers.
Murenzi was impressed by Rwandatel saying the company is implementing their business plan accordingly.