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November 17, 2008
Luxembourg-based carrier Millicom International Cellular (MIC) said Monday it has been awarded the third national mobile licence for Rwanda.
Millicom, which operates in a variety of emerging markets including neighbouring African countries Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo, said it will own 87.5 per cent of a newly created joint venture firm in partnership with Rwandan firm Marathon.
The joint venture is to pay $60m for the 15 year licence.
Rwanda has some 10 million inhabitants, in a country of about 26,000 square kilometres. Mobile penetration is low at around 9 per cent and the populace is only served by two incumbent operators, Rwandatel and MTN, with market leader MTN counting about 1 million subscribers.
Marc Beuls, president and CEO of Millicom, notes that the Rwandan company can forge some synergies with its Congo and Tanzanian operations and also says that the country has a well developed road and grid infrastructure, which will enable the company to build out a network quickly and economically.
Rwanda becomes Millicom’s eighth African investment, joining operations in Chad, Ghana, Mauritius, Senegal and Sierra Leone as well as Congo and Tanzania.
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