The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) has disclosed that Olleh Rwanda Networks (ORN), the joint venture between the Rwandan government and KT Corp, will launch its open-access Long Term Evolution (LTE) network on 11 November, All Africa reports. The mobile broadband network, which was initially scheduled to be operational by 1 September, had been postponed due to what stakeholders described as ‘technical challenges.’ Patrick Nyirishema, the director-general of RURA, said that everything is now in place for the network’s launch, while adding: ‘[The LTE network] is a new addition to the ecosystem; whatever benefits citizens were receiving due to ICT development in the country will now increase in terms of speed and efficiency.’
As previously noted 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.