Unreliable and unstable national on-grid power supply has promoted Korea Telecom Rwanda Network (ktRN) to invest in solar power base stations as a longterm solution to the problem. The firm will have three stations in the first phase and expand later.
The first station was launched on Monday morning by ktRN CEO Patrick Yoon who said the investment is also supposed to address other technical challenges. “On grid power is unpredictable, it come come in full swing, or very small, this damages our devices and they ware out very quickly.”
Yoon told Taarifa that the consideration to invest in this expensive green energy project was also to meant to fit into the country’s ambitions of being sensitive to the environment. The 36-solar-panel setup produces 8KW per day and charges 24 high efficient batteries that collectively produce 1200 amperes per hour (amp/hr) able to power the facility for two days.
This facility has been set up to generate electricity for an innovative internet connectivity antenna that has been raised in the middle of the Vision City high end housing estate in Gacuriro. The 36 meter antenna, camouflaged as a palm tree, will connect the neighbourhood to 4G LTE high speed internet within a radius of one kilometer.
A generator has also been installed in case the solar panel breaks down. “We also have on grid electricity available, but that will be used as our last option,” says Yoon.
On a positive note, the $200,000 station will save the company from high costs of running on purchased electricity from the national utility. “The cost will go down almost below 50%,” one of the company’s technicians explained.
ktRN is the only 4G LTE infrastructure company in Rwanda, jointly invested by the Government of Rwanda and ktRN exclusively for wholesale provision of universal mobile broadband network in Rwanda using 4G LTE technology that is now 100% accessible in all parts of the country.