Rwandan daily The New Times is reporting that internet users in the country’s capital Kigali will be able to access WiBro high speed mobile wireless internet by the end of September. The government signed a USD40 million deal with South Korean incumbent telco KT in October 2008 to install the 10,000-user capacity wireless broadband network in the city. Nkubito Bakuramutsa, deputy CEO of IT at the Rwanda Development, commented: ‘Tourists will be able to move from the airport to their hotels while surfing the net and people will be moving in their vehicles while carrying out transactions on their laptops.’ He said that the wireless broadband project is worth RWF4.5 billion (USD8 million) and added that by December of this year, a RWF22.7 billion fibre-optic backbone project will be rolled out throughout the country. Under the deal signed with KT, the South Korean telco also agreed to install the 2,300km national backbone, which will link 36 main points in Rwanda’s 30 districts and is expected to provide affordable high speed broadband internet access to around four million Rwandans within the next two to three years. The project will also increase broadband availability to more than 700 Rwandan institutions, including schools, healthcare centres and local government administrative centres.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, the KT deal was funded in part by a USD24 million credit line extended to the country by the World Bank as part of its USD424 million Regional Communication Infrastructure Programme, designed to improve the infrastructure of southern and eastern Africa and increase the deployment of e-government in the area.