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Rwanda telco rebrands as it expands to the rest of Africa

Olleh Rwanda Networks, a wholesome 4G network owned by the Rwandan government and Korea Telecom has rebranded as it seeks to extend its footprints from the country to the rest of Africa.

The rebranding has started with a change of name, with the telco now being branded Korea Telecom Rwanda Networks (KTRN).
“The new name for the company, which runs 4G LTE infrastructure across Rwanda that can be used on a wholesale basis by retail operators, is Korea Telecom Rwanda Networks (KTRN). This is a globally recognised name. Nothing else has been changed,” said CEO Han-Sung Yoon.

The company launched services in Rwanda – which has a population of only 12 million – in November 2014. "With a mission to cover 95 per cent of the total population by 2017, 4G LTE services reached 26 per cent of the Rwanda population in the first year of deployment.

Currently, 4G LTE has been deployed in 17 districts in Rwanda," said Yoon. "In 2016, we plan to double the coverage with over 100 additional base stations deployed across different towns of Rwanda."

The government of Rwanda owns 49 per cent of KTRN, with KT owning the other 51 per cent. KTRN has a 25-year wholesale monopoly, covering wireless and its fibre network, of which more than 3,000km has been built.

Three mobile operators, Airtel, MTN and Tigo, use KTRN’s infrastructure to offer 4G services. The wholesale network is also used by a number of internet service providers.

The company has given no further details of its plan to expand outside of Rwanda, which shares borders with Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


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