Bharti Airtel, an Indian telecommunications company, has been awarded a license to operate 2G and 3G GSM mobile services in Rwanda. The company operates in 19 countries across Asia and Africa and plans to invest over US$ 100 million in Rwanda in the next three years.
The Minister in charge of ICT in the President’s office, Ignace Gatare, hands over the license to Sunil Bharti Mittal, CEO and managing director of Bharti Airtel. (courtesy photo)
The license was handed over by the Minister in charge of ICT in the President’s office, Ignace Gatare, to Sunil Bharti Mittal, CEO and managing director of Bharti Airtel. The ICT minister said Rwanda is entering an exciting era in telecommunications, which entails bringing advanced broadband wireless services at more competitive prices that will allow more people, especially in rural areas, to access ICT.
He also noted that awarding Bharti Airtel a license to operate in Rwanda symbolizes a national conviction of economic liberalization and investment growth in ICT aimed at enhancing economic development in accordance with Vision 2020.Gatare expressed confidence that Bharti Airtel’s experience in operating in emerging markets will add value to the country’s telecommunications sector.
Sunil Bharti Mittal for his part applauded Rwanda’s leadership, and especially President Kagame, for understanding the importance of ICT in transforming societies. He noted that the company was pleased to be part of Rwanda’s vision of making telecommunications development a priority.
The CEO pledged to work with the government to bring affordable mobile services that add value to the lives of the people and contribute towards bridging the digital divide in Rwanda, adding that he is confident that the country is a key telecoms market with immense growth potential that will strengthen Bharti Airtel’s foot print in East Africa.
The coming of Bharti Airtel to the Rwandan market marks the largest Indian investment in the country and will enhance economic cooperation between the two countries. Bharti Airtel plans to leverage big opportunities in 3G voice and high speed wireless broadband and mobile commerce in Africa.