The South African MTN Group is to purchase a further interest in MTN Rwanda, increasing its shareholding from 40% to 55%, according to a company statement. The regional giant said that the purchase of the stake from Tristar Investments, which will retain a 35% shareholding after the transaction, will be effected through MTN’s wholly-owned subsidiary, MTN International (Mauritius). The value of the deal was not disclosed. Tristar is a local firm with interests in a range of sectors including hospitality and tourism.
MTN was awarded a national GSM licence in Rwanda in April 1998, launching its expansion in Africa. As of 30 September 2007, MTN Rwanda had 576 000 subscribers, up 18% from 486,000 three months earlier. Parent MTN has said that a 3G network will soon be piloted in the capital city, Kigali. The cellco has also built fibre-optic backbone infrastructure within Kigali and from Kigali to the border of Uganda. It also offers WiMAX services in the capital, and is extending the service to twelve other cities across the country.