Bharti Airtel, India’s global telecommunications company with operations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa said on 8 September 2011 that it has been awarded a license by the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) to operate 2G and 3G GSM mobile services in Rwanda.
With this license, the Company’s footprint across the African continent will expand to 17 countries. 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%, as of July 2011.
Bharti Airtel plans to invest over US $100 million in its operations in Rwanda over the next three years. The Company’s operations will also generate direct and indirect employment opportunities in the country.
“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,” said Ignace Gatare, 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. This also marks the largest investment out of India into Rwanda and will be invaluable in enhancing the economic cooperation between the two Nations,” said Gatare.
“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,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal, Bharti Airtel Chairman and MD.
“Rwanda is a key telecom market with immense growth potential and will strengthen Bharti Airtel’s footprint in East Africa,” added Mittal.