Nokia Networks has struck a deal with the government of Rwanda to provide radio and core network and manage the services to build the country’s first commercial LTE network.

The company was selected by Olleh Rwanda networks (oRn) which is in a joint venture with Korea Telecom.

The deal places Rwanda on the global LTE roadmap and will enable Rwandans to enjoy advanced communication services with improved capacity and data speed.

Steve Mutabazi, the Chairman Olleh Rwanda Network says Nokia was selected through a tender process conducted by Korea Telecom.

“Nokia, with a worldwide network, will be able to offer modern technology,” Mutabazi said.

According to the agreement, Nokia Networks will deliver the LTE network using its high-performance and scalable Flexi Multi-radio 10 Base Station and Evolved Packet Core (EPC).

The radio system modules will be housed in a centralized base station and the related Radio Frequency Units will be distributed into the antennae sites.

The Evolved Packet Core includes the company’s Flexi Network Server (Flexi NS) and Flexi Network Gateway (Flexi NG).

Nokia Networks will provide its software for Subscriber Data Management (SDM), including One NDS (Network Directory Server).

Additionally, Nokia Networks will also provide a full suite of managed services such as network implementation, planning and optimization, systems integration and network operations.

In june 2013, Olleh Rwanda Networks(oRn) was formed as joint venture between government of Rwanda and Korea Telecom (KT Corp) with the aim of installing and activating a wide-ranging high-speed broadband network and also leading the extension of the nation’s online services capability, essential to achieve Rwanda’s goals in the ICT sector.

Under this 25-year term venture KT Corp has so far injected $140 Million while government of Rwanda will provide $130Million worth of fibre optic network assets, spectrum and a wholesale license. Government had already laid over 3,000km since 2009 and targets to extend 4G network to 95% of Population and also export to neighbouring countries.

LTE, or Long Term Evolution, is a 4th generation (4G) mobile telecommunications technology with super-fast network, capable of delivering theoretical peak download rates of up 100Mbps. Users need an LTE modem to access the network, however, there are also 4G compliant smart phones.

The pursuit of information technology coincides with one of the pillars of Rwanda’s Vision 2020 which aims to turn the country into a knowledge-based economy.

President Paul Kagame once noted that information technology will help to turn Rwanda into a regional tech hub that will help Rwandans “find jobs, feed their children and regain their dignity”.

 

By Patrick Bigabo.