KIGALI, Rwanda, May 27, 2012: India-headquartered global telecom provider Bharti Airtel plans to invest $ 100 million in the east-central African republic of Rwanda, to fuel its operations over the next three years. This was announced soon after Airtel’s CEO (International) & Joint Managing Director, Manoj Kohli, paid a courtesy call on the Rwandan President last week, just two months after Airtel launched operations in Rwanda. Kohli reinforced the teleco’s commitment to work with the government in supporting the knowledge-based economy and generating both direct and indirect employment opportunities within its ecosystem. The company will also bring in partners like IBM and Ericsson to set up and manage world class facilities in the country.“Rwanda is a promising telecommunications market and we are grateful to the Government and people of Rwanda for the support extended to us
Rwanda is among the fastest growing telecom markets in Africa and, according to the National Statistics Institute of Rwanda, mobile penetration in the country was at 38.4 per cent as of July 2011. Airtel was awarded a license by the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) late last year to operate 2G and 3G GSM mobile services.
Kohli also explained that although the capital Kigali is currently operating on a 2G network, the company also plans to launch 3G services in the market within the upcoming quarter. The launch of Airtel’s 3G platform will help stimulate change to how subscribers experience the web on internet-enabled devices technology will be beneficial for a variety of users, which include large Corporates, Small or Medium Businesses and the Youth.
Rwanda will also benefit from Airtel’s mobile commerce platform – Airtel Money. The service will allow consumers and communities to take advantage of the mobile commerce reality sweeping through the industry by enabling them to conduct a range of financial transactions quickly and easily.
In addition, Airtel plans to bring its football talent search – Airtel Rising Stars – into Rwanda.
Bharti Airtel – is a leading integrated telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Africa and Asia. The company is ranked as the fifth largest mobile service provider globally in terms of subscribers with over 250 million customers across its operations. In Africa, the Airtel brand is present in both Francophone and Anglophone markets spanning Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.