Rwandan daily The New Times reports that the Kigali Wireless Broadband (WiBro) Network and the Kigali Metropolitan Network (KMN) were officially launched on Wednesday after two years of rolling out the infrastructure. Internet users in Kigali city will now be able to enjoy high speed connectivity and voice-over-IP (VoIP) services, while the KMN will increase broadband availability to more than 700 Rwandan institutions including schools, health-care centres and local government administrative centres. The two networks were deployed by KT Corp, after the Rwandan government signed a USD40 million deal with the South Korean incumbent telco in October 2008 to install a 10,000-user capacity wireless broadband network in the capital. The CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, John Gara, said that a total of 46 government institutions are already enjoying the new network: ‘This technology will cater for data, voice and video transmission plus other value added services that the market may require,’ he explained. The government is aiming to provide over four million Rwandans with access to broadband internet within the next two to three years, partly facilitated by the RWF4.5 billion (USD7.7 million) WiBro project.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, KT is also rolling out a 2,300km fibre-optic backbone across the country. The RWF22.7 billion national backbone will link 36 main points in Rwanda’s 30 districts and is expected to be completed next year, following a three-month trial period to monitor stability of the connection.