Airtel launches 3.75G
As telecom companies extend competition from voice to data, subscribers are set to enjoy fast internet services after Airtel announced that it is introducing 3.75G internet.
This comes ahead by 0.25 points of Tigo’s newly launched 3.5G providing platform that will give subscribers more option in using the web on Internet-enabled mobile phone devices
“The technology on our 3.75G network will give our customers the opportunity to interact with data in a different way,” said Marcellin Paluku, Country Manager Airtel Rwanda in a statement yesterday.
The 3.75G is the latest and fastest version of the third generation (3G) after 3.5G where a user is able to make video calls, watch live TV, send and receive emails and download music from the devices.
“This is the latest global HSPA+ technology with up to 21 Mbps speed, also being rolled out in Europe and the USA,” he added
Airtel Rwanda is a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, the Indian based telecom known for its subscriber friendly call rates.
The launch of the 3.75G will heat up competition in the telecom market as MTN Rwanda and Tigo are now rushing for data services to compliment the staggering voice call revenues.
Voice call revenues have dropped since the entry of Airtel in March this year after the telecom operators announced lower call rates.
MTN shifted ploy to mobile banking which has witnessed over Rwf70 billion transactions with the recent partnership with Bank of Kigali an indication that it (MTN) will be shielded from data competition.
But for Tigo which launched 3.5G with bang this year and has been spending heavily will have to upgrade to 3.75G to compete with Airtel.
“I am very happy that Airtel has also started internet, now I will have to see where I benefit most and that is the internet I use,” John Bosco Habimana a student said.
Experts say that promotions will determine which telecom will succeed in wooing more internet subscribers.
“Of course people may not understand what is 3G or megabytes, this means that they will have to follow what is cheaper and convenient to them,” Davis Mukiza, a Business Consultant said
MTN managed to take up a big share in modem users when it introduced a promotion where subscribers pay Rwf1000 for one day with more bonus hours before you are deactivated, putting down Tigo’s Rwf800 a day.
Paluku says that the platform will enable fast access to the Internet for social networking, creating, accessing and sharing learning content like e-books and music.
“Our 3.75G platform will allow customers to combine the enormous potential of the internet with the convenience of cellular phones and other devices,
“This is why Airtel doesn’t see 3G as a product but a platform that enables the community to expand its social and commercial horizons, alongside the rest of the world.”
“We are pleased to have been selected by Airtel for the upgrade of their network in Rwanda, and see mobile broadband as key to realizing our vision of the Networked Society,” said Lars Linden, Head of Ericsson sub Saharan Africa.
“The new technology will enable Airtel to meet its desire to provide its customers with the most advanced solutions and quality browsing experience to its customers in Rwanda and Africa,” he adds
Paluku says that the platform will enable the business community to embrace a highly mobile way of working with high speed access to email and Internet and it will allow large companies to increase productivity through vastly enhanced mobile Internet speeds.