Rwanda to offer free national Wi-Fi - TechCentral

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Rwanda to offer free national Wi-Fi

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Rwanda is hoping for a boom in business with plans to offer free Wi-Fi-based Internet access nationwide, starting with a roll-out in the capital city, Kigali.

The Rwandan government started the city-wide roll-out last month, targeting schools, public buildings, bus stations and hotels in the city first.

IT minister Jean Philibert Nsengimana hopes the Wi-Fi deployment will attract more investors and “accelerate growth” in the Internet sector.

Nsengimana says connectivity is one of the most important drawcards for business in the age of digital economy. Free Wi-Fi roll-out is a step in a direction of a bigger goal, namely deployment of 4G/LTE-based broadband across the small central African nation.  Source: Daily Nation

Bids received for MTN towers
South Africa’s MTN Group hopes to sell its towers in Zambia and Rwanda by the end of the year. The operator owns between 400 and 600 sites in Zambia and has a thousand in Rwanda. It has received its first round of bids.

Citi has been hired by MTN to find a buyer, and valuation of the sites is in the region of US$100 to $200m.

According to sources, interest is being shown by the “obvious four” — American Tower Corp, IHS, Eaton and Helios Towers, along with a private equity investor from the US that is trying to secure funding from banks.  Source: TMTFinance

Bank says ICT will lift Africa out of poverty
The African Development Bank (AfDB) says that the use of ICT could help lift Africa out of poverty and it is willing to provide finance to help build infrastructure over the next five years.

Regional director Gabriel Negatu says the bank wants to make ICT affordable and accessible to Africans so that it can play a role in “reducing the level of poverty” in the continent.

A $100m loan is set to be approved by AfDB’s board and will be used for infrastructure at Konza City, Kenya’s technology city, and this will go towards a dam and a modern water and sewerage system.  Source: Daily Nation

Wacs extended into DRC
The Democratic Republic of Congo is getting connected to the West African Cable System (Wacs) for the first time. Wacs is a high-capacity submarine cable system that runs along Africa’s west coast from Cape Town to London, with 14 landing stations along the route.

PCCW Global, the international operating division of Hong Kong’s HKT, has established the Wacs connection at Kinshasa.

Wacs has provided direct fixed access to the world telecommunications network for the first time in the DRC as well as Namibia, the Republic of Congo and Togo.

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