Liquid Telecom acquires RwandaTel, eyes broadband market

Monday June 3 2013

A Rwandatel shop in Kigali. Liquid Telecom, a subsidiary of Econet Wireless Global Limited whose headquarters is in South Africa has acquired Rwandatel with a focus to grow its broadband footprint in East and Southern Africa. Photo/MORGAN MBABAZI

A Rwandatel shop in Kigali. Liquid Telecom, a subsidiary of Econet Wireless Global Limited whose headquarters is in South Africa has acquired Rwandatel with a focus to grow its broadband footprint in East and Southern Africa. Photo/MORGAN MBABAZI 

By David Mugwe, The EastAfrican

Liquid Telecom, a subsidiary of Econet Wireless Global Limited whose headquarters is in South Africa has acquired Rwandatel with a focus to grow its broadband footprint in East and Southern Africa.

The company, which said that it has over 13,000 kilometres of a fibre network across Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho and South Africa on Monday disclosed that it has bought out Rwanda's fixed line network operator but did not provide the details of the deal.

Sam Nkusi, chairman of Liquid Telecom Rwanda in a statement said that the priority is to quickly rehabilitate Rwandatel’s core network and build out the access network in order to serve Rwanda’s enterprises and residences with high speed telecommunications.

“Liquid Telecom Rwanda will now contribute to Rwanda’s ICT4D and Agaciro vision by providing true broadband services with comparable data speeds to anywhere in the developed world,” he said.

ICT4D is an acronym for information and communications technologies for development, an initiative promoted by the United Nations while the Agaciro vision is a self-help drive involving Rwandan contributions that aims to hasten the country’s social, economic and political progress.

In January this year, Liquid Telecom announced that it had acquired the East African telecom assets of Altech Group giving the latter an 8.6 per cent minority stake in Liquid Telecom in a deal in which Altech would also pay $16.5 million in cash.

As a result of the deal, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed Altech transferred its 61 per cent stake in Kenya Data Networks and the ownership of Africa Data Networks which operates in the DRC to Liquid Telecom.

Altech also gave up its stake in Swift Global which provides services in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda and Stream which operates in Rwanda and InfoCom, an internet service provider in Uganda.

Companies operating in the fixed network business have been shifting their focus to the delivery of internet services because of technology changes that have seen consumers move to mobile phones.

Econet Wireless Global is a privately held international company owns a number of telecommunications companies around the world.

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