Mobile Internet users on MTN Rwanda and Rwandatel network have now hit 112,000 as government plans to increase access to internet to 4 million in the next few years, Business Times has learnt.
Specifically as of November this year, Rwandatel had 39,000 users, while MTN Rwanda has 73,000 users using mobile Internet or wireless service on their respective networks.
MTN charges Rwf150 per 5 Mega bytes while Rwandatel charges 0.03 per Kilo byte
While MTN launched mobile Internet usage in 2006 as a monthly flat rate package for prepaid and post paid, this year the company introduced volume based billing (pay-as-you use) to allow a bigger segment of the market to access the service.
“We moved to offering bundles for Internet in direct response to requests from our customers who were looking for a reliable, efficient and value for money mobile internet service. The response has been very positive as customers can access the internet and email only when they need to and get charged for what they use,” MTN’s Senior Marketing Executive Yvonne Manzi Makolo told Business Times.
Makolo also noted that the company is well positioned to be the lead provider once the full potential of fiber optic cables in exploited.
“There is no doubt that with costs coming down and Internet speeds increasing, more people will sign up to experience the convenience of mobile Internet,” Makolo said.
Cleophas Kabasiita, the Corporate Communications Manager at Rwandatel told Business Times that her Company, next year will review its package and pricing to allow more subscribers to use the service.
The company is targeting over 60,000 mobile Internet users next year of the 480,000 subscribers on their network next year.
However according to the latest Africa Economic Outlook Report (AEO) by the African Development Bank, by the fall of 2008, Rwandatel was reported the dominant Internet provider.
Report indicates that Rwandatel has 62 percent on its ADSL network compared to MTN’s 35 percent on the GPRS (32KBps) and Wimax networks (64 KBps, 256 KBps and 1 MBps).
Artel and ISPA, the other Internet service provider in Rwanda shared the remaining 3 percent according to the report.