The number of mobile phone subscribers has risen, hitting close to 80 per cent in December 2016, according to the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) monthly subscriber report.
The report that tracks revenue-generating subscribers indicates that active mobile phone users increased from 8.858 million in November 2016 to 8.921 million at the end of December 2016. This was an increase of 0.72 per cent month-on-month to 79.2 per cent penetration level, from 78.7 per cent recorded the previous month. This is higher than 78 per cent registered last January and 77.8 per cent for December 2015.
However, it is lower than last year’s peak of 80 per cent penetration level recorded in the third quarter when over 9.025 million users were registered in July and 9.990 million in the month of August, 2016, RURA figures show.
According to the report, postpaid subscribers rose to 113,090 at the end of December, from 112, 274 in November, while prepaid clients increased from 8.745 million in November to 8.808 million subscribers as at the end of December.
Tigo was the biggest gainer last month with 36,588 new subscribers in December 2016, bringing the total number of its customers to over 3.252 million from 3.216 million in November. Tigo currently enjoys a market share of about 36.5 per cent.
Airtel Rwanda attracted 1.34 per cent or 21,433 new users to hit 1.596 million subscribers, from 1.574 million clients the previous month, RURA indicates.
This development will mount a lot of pressure on market leaders, MTN Rwanda, which only added 5,490 new users to 4.072 million people, up from 4.067 million clients the previous month.
Commenting on the gains, Jean Bosco Nkusi, the Tigo distribution manager said,
“This is a testament to the growth of customer confidence in the services we offer, such as the fast data and TigoCash mobile financial services. We have been able to lead market growth in 2016 and we are working towards becoming the market leader by the end of 2017.”
Nkusi also attributed the telecom growth in client figures to hard work by its sales and distribution team, saying they make sure that every Rwandan in the country accesses Tigo products.