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5 April, at 06 : 51 AM Print
In a bid to increase Rwanda’s internet capacity, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has awarded a 6.7 million US dollar contract to Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) to provide 1.244 Gbps of internet bandwidth. The agreements were made on 03rdApril 2012 in Kigali.
The bulk international bandwidth has been procured off the World Bank grant through the Regional Communication Infrastructure Programme-Rwanda (RCIPRW), a project that aims at lowering prices of internet capacity as well as extending the geographic reach of broadband networks in the country.
“Rwanda strongly believes in regional integration and is strategically positioned as a link between East Africa and Central Africa. What we are witnessing today is an important step in Rwanda’s efforts to grow as a service hub in the region,” says Patrick Nyirishema, the Head of ICT department at RDB.
He further added; “For Rwanda to achieve higher and sustained growth performance through transforming itself into a service-based economy, it has embarked on developing the ICT infrastructure and services.”
While noting that Rwanda faces significant challenges in getting access to low-cost international connectivity as a landlocked country, Nyirishema explained that; “This purchase of bulk international capacity on regional and international networks will significantly boost our vision to make bandwidth a commodity on the Rwandan market.”
He added that if broadband becomes a commodity on the Rwandan market, it would stimulate deployment of a wider and improved range of services to consumers at affordable prices.
Within two weeks of signing of this contract, TTCL will provide part of the capacity and will progressively scale up to the full contracted capacity in less than six months.
“We are using demand aggregation for bandwidth to drive down prices of internet capacity, to stimulate investment into regional network infrastructure and to ensure that affordable access is made available to all market participants on an open-access basis,” added Nyirishema.
On the other hand, TTCL expressed its commitment to deliver the services accordingly. Said Amir Said, TTCL’s CEO said that TTCL has achieved one of her major milestone towards its regional focus. “To us regional integration and cross boarder business relationship is more important and we believe that this success will unlock more potential to the region”.
“This partnership, which is the first of its kind in the region, is of strategic importance to us,” says Ernest Nangi, TTCL’s chief of Marketing and Sales.
TTCL comes at a time when BhartiAirtel a Telecom giant has just entered the Rwandan telecommunication market.