Nokia, oRn partner for Rwanda’s first commercial LTE network

By Tom Jackson, South Africa

olleh Rwanda Networks (oRn), a joint venture between the Rwandan government and KT Corporation, has chosen Nokia Networks to provide network and managed services for the country’s first commercial LTE network.

In June last year, the Rwandan government and KT Corporation agreed a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for a joint venture to deploy a high-speed 4G LTE broadband network, with the aim of covering 95 per cent of the country’s population in the next three years.

KT Corp, which is South Korea’s largest integrated telecommunications service provider, would offer expertise and invest US$140 million, while the government is making available the country’s existing 3,000km fibre-optic network and adding its spectrum and wholesale-only operator licence to the joint venture.

“This is a defining moment for Rwanda and its citizens. In addition to opening up a whole new world of data services, this LTE network will also be a strong proof point of our commitment to enabling and empowering the people of this country,” said Peter Jeon, chief executive officer (CEO) of oRn.

“A strong track record in similar deployments, coupled with cutting-edge technology expertise and capabilities, made Nokia Networks a natural choice as our partner for this ground-breaking project. We will work together to accelerate the arrival of the latest communications technologies in Rwanda.”

Nokia Networks will deliver the LTE network using its high-performance and scalable Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station and Evolved Packet Core (EPC), housing the radio system modules in a centralised base station hotel, with the related RF units distributed into the antenna sites.

The company’s consolidated NetAct network management system will manage, monitor and optimise oRn's network, with Nokia Networks also providing a full suite of managed services such as network implementation, planning and optimisation, systems integration and network operations.

“As well as from placing Rwanda on the global LTE roadmap, this initiative also has the potential to radically alter the current communications landscape in the country,” said Sudesh Maharaj, customer team head, Growht Markets, Central and West Africa at Nokia Networks. “This contract underlines oRn's faith in our capabilities to deliver on its vision to launch commercial LTE services in Rwanda.”

 

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