The challenge was to launch high-quality, reliable 2G/3G/3,5G networks in Rwanda; to serve the domestic market; and gain significant market share in first year after launch. The client outsourced the network launch to Us, from initial planning to live network and final acceptance by the vendor. We succeeded in securing the new network at the agreed performance level for the licence terms, with voice and data services. The client is now the number two in Rwanda, and has up to 1.4 million subscribers.
We managed all technical activities related to the launch of the new mobile network in Rwanda. This project started with a team of 12, which increased to 25. The principal roles defined were: project director, network development manager, senior rollout manager, procurement and logistics manager, RF planning manager and TX manager. The teams also included other telecoms experts.
Key factors in the success of the project were the team’s strong competencies and experience with this type of project; excellent synergy with the client’s local team; and full compliance with the licence obligations. Through efficient project management, effective risk/mitigation analysis and full transparency with the client, the network was officially launched on time. This took place in December 2009, when mobile services (voice, text and data) were offered to customers at competitive prices in 13 Rwandan districts, including Kigali.
We won the contract through its strong relationship with the client, which had been built on confidence-inspiring proven project successes. We remained involved in Rwanda in 2010 and 2011 to support the client during the second and third phases of the licence project, when the service was rolled out across all Rwandan territory. We also supported the client with the technical licence bid in Rwanda and was also involved in a successful network expansion project in Tanzania.