Olleh Rwanda Networks (ORN), a joint venture between the Rwandan government and KT Corp of South Korea, has selected Finnish equipment vendor Nokia Networks (formerly NSN) as the sole supplier of the country’s first open-access commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. Nokia Networks will deliver its scalable Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station and Evolved Packet Core (EPC), while also housing the radio system modules in a centralised base station hotel, with the related radio frequency (RF) units distributed into the antenna sites. Further, 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.
ORN’s CEO Peter Jeon commented: ‘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.’
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the government outlined its commitment to next generation cellular technology in March 2013 when the Rwanda Development Board enlisted KT Corp to establish a public-private joint venture company. KT Corp would invest USD140 million in the venture, while the government would provide access to the country’s existing 3,000km fibre-optic backbone network. ORN, which will offer 4G connectivity to local mobile operators and internet service providers (ISPs) on a wholesale basis, concluded a successful LTE trial in July this year; the tests took place at 13 government institutions, 13 public locations and 17 private sites, including hotels and large companies.