Airtel buys up Rwandan mobile masts

India’s Bharti Airtel has bought the mobile masts of Rwandan carrier Rwandatel for $15.5m, after the African firm went into liquidation in 2011.

Rwandan authority the Utilities Regulatory Agency revoked Rwandatel’s GSM licence after the company failed to meet its obligations.

Earlier this month Airtel got its operations in Rwanda underway, opting to partner with Ericsson for the deployment. Ericsson will manage Airtel’s Rwandan network from end-to-end, including providing OSS/BSS solutions and managed services.

Last year the Indian-headquartered carrier struck a partnership with NSN to expand, plan and operate its mobile networks in  Madagascar, Malawi, Congo Brazzaville, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The Indian operator has also pledged to invest $100m over the next three years, taking its reach in Africa to 17 markets.

Rwandatel was 80 per cent owned by Libyan government company LAP Green Networks, with the remainder owned by the former National Social Security Fund of Rwanda.

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