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RURA removes 4G wholesale monopoly from KTRN

Rwanda has issued a notice of intent to “modify” the 4G LTE wholesale monopoly license granted to Korea Telecom Rwanda Networks (KTRN), a move that would allow for other companies to participate in the wholesale of 4G internet.

A notice by Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) served to KTRN has been published in the official gazette informing the latter about the modification of the license.

Among the reasons for the modification is the implementation of the new National Broadband Policy and Strategy adopted by the government in October 2022, which aims at enhancing competition to accelerate the access and adoption of broadband mobile services for all.

The policy also aims at liberalizing technology deployments and wireless access spectrum assignments to ensure that all operators have the ability to deploy such advanced broadband services.

Equally important, the policy notes, is supporting continued competition in the national fiber backhaul market, ensuring that all providers can continue investing to further extend their networks, including bringing fiber closer to end users.

The New Times understands that the proposed license modification, among others, aims at adjusting the provisions in KTRN’s license that designate the company as a dominant organization over the wholesale of mobile broadband access services, intercity Broadband transport services, and international broadband transport services to border international gateways.

It also looks to make amendments of the license to remove references imposing technology restrictions on any other licensed operator and to make the license technology-neutral, in addition to removing references that “are no longer” required,

The new National Broadband Policy and Strategy proposes the redesigning of the market structure, shifting from service-based competition, and allowing for the deployment of advanced networks and services.

“Thus, the implementation of the new National Broadband Policy and Strategy and KTRN License for network service provision, warrants the removal of the regulatory barriers that prevent other Telecom Operators from deployment of the latest available technology,” a statement from RURA reads in part.

“RURA is therefore aiming to ensure that all licenses are technology neutral and contain provisions that allow other Mobile Network Operators to deploy 4G and beyond technologies to provide greater network capacity and faster connectivity across the national mobile networks,” the statement added.

The modification of KTRN license for network service provision license, is expected to lead to a new telecommunication local market structure, as well as positively affect the business of 4G Retailers licensees who are currently operating under agreement with KTRN as the only wholesaler of 4G LTE. Africa Press

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