Bharti Airtel gets license for 2G, 3G services in Rwanda


New Delhi : Telecom giant Bharti Airtel said Thursday it has been awarded a license by Rwanda’s telecom regulator to operate 2G and 3G GSM mobile services in the east African country, adding that it plans to invest over $100 million in its operations there over the next three years.

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“Bharti Airtel has been awarded a license by the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency 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,” the company said in a statement.

Rwanda is amongst the fastest growing telecom markets in Africa. According to the national statistics institute of the country, the mobile penetration in the country was 38.4 percent, as of July 2011.

“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, chairman and managing director, Bharti Airtel.

“Rwanda is a key telecom market with immense growth potential and will strengthen Bharti Airtel’s footprint in East Africa,” he added.

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. 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,” said Ignace Gatare, minister in charge of ICT in the Rwandan President’s office.

“This also marks the largest investment out of India into Rwanda and will be invaluable in enhancing the economic cooperation between the two nations,” he added.