New Delhi: Expanding its footprint in Africa, Bharti airtel will operate 2G and 3G mobile services in Rwanda for which it has announced an investment of USD 100 million in the next three years.
The company said it has been awarded licences to operate mobile services by the Rwanda government.
"We are pleased to be part of the vision of the Government of Rwanda to take telecommunications forward as a priority.
"We will work with the Government to bring affordable and best in class mobile services that add value to the lives of people of Rwanda and contribute towards bridging the digital divide in the country," Sunil Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti airtel said in a statement.
Rwanda is amongst the fastest growing telecom markets in Africa. According to the National Statistics Institute of Rwanda, the mobile penetration in the country was 38.4 percent as of July 2011, the statement said.
"Rwanda is a key telecom market with immense growth potential and will strengthen Bharti Airtel’s footprint in East Africa," Mittal added.
Airtel already had its presence in 16 countries of Africa which include Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
"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," Minister in the President's Office in Charge of ICT, Ignace Gatare said.
He welcomed Bharti Airtel to Rwanda and expressed confidence that its experience in operating in emerging markets will add immense value to telecommunications sector in Rwanda.
"This also marks the largest investment out of India into Rwanda and will be invaluable in enhancing the economic co-operation between the two nations," Gatare said.
Bharti made its entry in to African by acquiring Kuwait based Zain Telecom for about USD 10.7 billion (Rs 48,000 crore approximately).
The company reported to have 46.3 million mobile customers on its network by in Africa in the first quarter which ended on June 30, 2011. During the quarter, the company added 2.1 million customers. The company reported to have earned average revenue per user of USD 7.3 per month during the quarter.
First Published: Thursday, September 8, 2011, 23:12