- Africa’s leading mobile phone network, MTN has signed a deal to the tune of US$18 million with six local banks to revamp its entire network in Rwanda after rival operator Millicom International Cellular launched its mobile operation in the country in mid November.
MTN Rwanda Chief Executive Officer, Khaled Mikkawi said the money is part of the company’s $100 million investment into the network this year. “There is always the need for more capacity on the network,” he said.
The company has over 1.8 million subscribers in the country with a population of about 10 million people but which has three telecoms operators that include MTN Rwanda, Tigo Rwanda and Rwandatel.
MTN Chief Financial Officer Richard Tushabe said the company will service its debt in two different instalments. One instalment of $8 million is a revolving loan payable in three years or 36 months while another one is a $10 million portion payable in five years, he said.
The company received the loan to finance the network expansion above the current 90 percent coverage and this will support to gain a firm position in the market which is highly competitive.
MTN was awarded a national GSM licence in Rwanda in 1998. Millicom International Cellular won the country's third mobile licence in November 2008, for $60 million.
Rwanda’s mobile penetration of about 17 percent is widely viewed as one of Africa's fastest growing mobile markets.
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