Rwanda’s third telecom national operator Tigo, yesterday unveiled operations on the market, promising to commercially launch by Monday next week.
The market unveiling means that clients interested in any of the Tigo’s products can now access them from any of the company’s outlets.
It also means that the Tigo line operating with the 072 digit code is on-line.
While addressing the press the company’s Technical Director, Mohamed Dembele said the company’s network now covers about 13 districts, with 9 of them mounted with Tigo sites.
The districts covered include Ngoma, Nyagatare, Gicumbi, Huye, Musanze, Nyamagambe, Rubavu, Rusizi, Gasabo, Kicukiro and Nyarugege.
He said that all the country’s provinces are well covered with the Tigo network.
He also added that by 2011 the entire Rwanda will be covered with Tigo network.
According to the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alex Kamara the company which paid government $67 million for an operating licence, has implemented all the requirements as they were laid out during the bidding process.
He added that the regulator, Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) has given the company a ‘green light’ to start operations.
With an initial capital investment worth slightly over $50 million the company has laid a foundation to offer the best pre-paid plan in the country’s telecom market.
“Tigo plans to offer the best pre-paid plan in the market with the most affordable rates to call any time and to any number in Rwanda with 100 percent per second billing of Rwf1.5 per second,” Kamara said.
“Also Tigo customers will have the additional benefit to make Tigo to Tigo calls at just Rwf1 per second during nights - starting at 8 pm - and weekends all day.
On top of that Tigo will introduce the lowest denomination card so customers can top up from as little as Rwf300,” Kamara added
Company officials explained that short messaging (SMS) would cost users Rwf25 to all networks and Rwf50 for an SMS in the region.
They added that the company, as an innovation in customer service, is also launching the “choose your number” service where all customers can choose their desired Tigo number.
Tigo comes to the Rwandan market of slightly more than 1.5 million subscribers. MTN Rwanda claims over 80 percent of that market share with the spoils left for the Libyan owned Rwandatel.
Tigo is a brand of Millicom International Cellular (MIC) which is a multi-national telecommunications company that is focused on developing telecommunication infra structure in emerging markets.
Millicom offers mobile telecommunication services in 13 countries, 3 in Central America, 3 in South America and 7 in African.
After an open bid called by the Rwandan government in December 2008, MIC was granted a license to launch and operate Tigo as the 3rd mobile operator in the country.
“Tigo Rwanda SA is today announcing it official entry into the Rwandan market with its triple A strategy which aims to provide: availability, affordability and accessibility of mobile services in the country,” Kamara said.
“Availability means having an extensive network with sufficient capacity, affordability doesn’t just mean competitive rates and prices but also having prepaid payment in low denominations and accessibility means easy access to prepaid services that is achieved through mass market distribution,” he added.