URUGWIRO VILLAGE - Officials of South Korea’s telecom giant Korea Telecom (KT) pledged to President Paul Kagame yesterday at Urugwiro Village to establish a reliable national backbone to carry forward the country’s ICT aspirations.
Addressing the press shortly after paying a courtesy call on the President, Soo-Ho Maeng, the Executive Vice President and head of Global Business of the telecom giant pledged the company’s readiness to establish a quality and efficient Fibre-optic network to support the current and future connectivity demands of the country.
“We look forward through our partnership with Rwanda, to set up the broadband services, the first of its kind in Africa. KT has personalised Wireless broadband construction and we are sure that Rwanda will soon have the best network in the region,” Maeng said.
The Korean firm which officially opened its offices in Rwanda on Thursday is contracted by the Rwandan government to construct a national backbone project worth US $40m.
It also has, since 2008, a contract to establish a wireless broadband network known as the Kigali Metropolitan Area Network (Kigali MAN) accessible to 10,000 people in Kigali with both projects worth up to $70m in total as well as a contract to install the Kigali WiBro, a commercial wireless mobile broadband.
“What we are targeting is to see over 4 million Rwandans gain access to high speed internet within the next two to three years. Government is also looking at increasing broadband availability linkage to more than 700 Rwandan institutions, including schools, health-care centres, army barracks and local government administrative centres” Romain Murenzi told journalists soon after the meeting with the President.
The national backbone is expected to consist of a high-speed fibre-optic network that will link 36 main points in Rwanda’s 30 districts, with a 2,300-kilometre cable running across the country and will also be linking Rwanda to the undersea cable of the cost of Mombasa.
Murenzi said that the findings of recent tour to the Dar-es-Salaam and Mombasa end points indicate that activities to connect to the undersea cable should kickoff by July 2009.
KT is a prominent South Korean integrated wired and wireless telecommunication service provider. It has developed an information & communications business for the last 25 years, and has the largest portion of the South Korean local telephone and high-speed internet business.