Mobile phone penetration rate grows to 72% in September

Tigo registered the biggest number new subscribers in September, a statement from the sector regulator shows.

The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (Rura) statement indicates that by September 30, Tigo had 2,686,200 subscribers compared to 2,635,547 in August. This is an addition of 50,653 clients month-on-month. MTN gained close to 12,000 new subscribers over the period, from 3,729,924 in August to 3,741,923 customers in September. Airtel Rwanda, however, lost 26,390 subscribers during the period; from 1,116,883 subscribers in August to 1,090,493 end of September. This represents a mobile penetration rate of 71.6 per cent compared to 64.3 per cent in January.

Mobile devices have been described as “the new solution to efficient provision of services” across sectors by various industry experts. With mobile money services, customers can today pay utility bills, insurance, TV subscription besides being able to access their bank accounts using their phones. They can also send and receive money through mobile money agents and automated teller machines.

The firms have been fighting for clients by introducing new products and conducting promotions over the year with the latest being on free mobile money transactions, cash prizes for using mobile money and sending short messages to win cash, cars and houses.

Jean Baptiste Mutabazi, the head of communication and media regulation at Rura, said promotions increase activities in the industry and is optimistic penetration levels would start inching up at a monthly average of one per cent from the current average of 0.7 per cent.