MTN Uganda has commissioned a fibre network to be the first terrestrial link to Rwanda, an investment intended to improve infrastructure and further progress on the country’s ICT Roadmap.
The fibre, which is to be rolled out in Katuna border in the Kabale district, has been commended by the government for spurring the economy and enabling the government to focus on building partnerships in the region.
“We at the Ministry would like to commend MTN Uganda for this investment that further confirms its commitment to provide support for this crucial sector of Uganda’s economy and further positions Uganda as a leader in ICT,” said Ruhakana Rugunda, Ugandan Minister for ICT.
“The extension of the MTN Uganda fibre will act as a catalyst for economic development and will support the Ugandan government to further leverage on the existent regional partnerships in the areas of trade and industry.”
With the fibre in place, Uganda will enjoy strong infrastructural links across the region as Rwanda and Tanzania will fall under the route of the fibre. The country is already linked to Kenya.
“The commissioning of the new fibre system at Katuna is a major development which we are confident will have a positive impact on the future of Uganda’s ICT Roadmap,” said Mazen Mroué, chief executive officer of MTN Uganda. “It will substantially improve the connectivity with neighbouring countries and the world by connecting Uganda to an additional submarine cable SAT-3 to Rwanda via the Tanzania route from Dar es Salaam.
“This is in addition to the other two cables already connected through the Kenya route from Mombasa which provide Uganda with unique redundancy and a backup structure for secured and reliable connectivity while providing quality voice and data services.”
The commissioning is one in a string of investments by MTN Uganda in efforts to improve the country’s ICT infrastructure. Last year the company’s capital expenditures reached in excess of US$80 million, with investments focusing on improving the fibre network in the country, and installing Switching and Data Centres.
In 2012, MTN – Uganda’s largest mobile network operator with more than 7.5 million subscribers – rolled out 600 kilometres of fibre backbone, bringing the country’s total fibre infrastructure to 2,800 kilometres by the end of the year.
MTN also unveiled an additional 81 Network Coverage Sites over the past year, bringing the total number of sites in the country to 1,100, providing connectivity across the country.
The company recently announced plans to roll-out an LTE network in Uganda in the near future. Mroué said: “MTN remains committed to development of the ICT sector and the Ugandan economy. LTE becomes the new standard determining the level of Technology development and offering substantially faster data speed than other technologies.”