Rwanda gets third mobile operator

Rwanda now has its third mobile operator, after Bharti Airtel was awarded a licence to operate 2G and 3G services in the country. The company has pledged to invest a total of over $100 million in Rwanda over the next three years.

The deal sees Bharti Airtel extend its reach in Africa; it now operates in 17 countries across the continent. The company said that its decision to enter the country was because Rwanda is one of the fastest growing telecom markets in Africa. According to the National Statistics Institute of Rwanda, the mobile penetration in the country was 38.4 per cent, as of July 2011.

“We are entering an exciting era in telecommunications in Rwanda, which entails bringing advanced broadband wireless services at more competitive prices and allowing more people in rural areas to access mobile technology,” Dr Ignace Gatare, honourable minister in the President’s Office in charge of ICT.

“We welcome Bharti Airtel to Rwanda and are confident that their experience in operating in emerging markets will add immense value to our telecommunications sector.”

Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman and managing director at Bharti Airtel, added: “Rwanda is a key telecom market with immense growth potential and will strengthen Bharti Airtel’s footprint in East Africa.”

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