AIRTEL LAUNCHES RWANDA OPERATIONS
Africas largest mobile network operator, in terms of countries served, is today launching operations in Rwanda, where it will be the third company after MTN and TIGO, stepping into the void left when
RwandaTel, majority owned at the time by Gadaffi Libya, lost its license for not fulfilling terms and conditions and ignoring notices of compliance. The Rwandan government moved swiftly to restore competition when inviting mobile companies to apply for a license and Airtel won that bid, allowing it to expand in East Africa from Uganda and Kenya to Rwanda, one of the regions most vibrant economies.
Airtel, the African arm of Indias Bharti, is set to invest at least 100 million US Dollars as the company seeks to expand in Africa and offer services for voice and data. The operator is thought to rapidly roll out across the country with a 3.5+ data network, as they did in their other East African operations and will attempt to get back the nearly 600.000 subscribers RwandaTel had when the regulator threw the book at them.
Bharti is ranked as amongst the top five global mobile operators and with Rwanda coming on line today will be present in 17 African countries, serving notice of intent to continental market leader MTN of things to come. A source in Kigali recently put MTNs subscriber base to about 2.8 million with Tigo presently a distant second with about 1.5 million subscribers, but it is understood that many former RwandaTel subscribers and dissatisfied customers of the two present market leaders intend to switch to Airtel, as it offers regional roaming besides the undoubtedly attractive launch offers which will include subsidized state of the art phones, USB modems and low call tariffs. So when next coming to the Land of a Thousand Hills, there is a new kid on the block to make those calls home with and tell the amazing story of the Phoenix risen from the Ashes.