Telecom sector players have been challenged to develop innovative products that will help ease operations as well as reduce the cost of doing business.
Jean Philbert Nsengimana, the Minister for Youth and ICT, said the Internet is a key enabler of business and, therefore, should be easily accessible and affordable for all.
Nsengimana was speaking during the launch of Tigo Rwanda’s 4G service on the Samsung Ace J1 smartphone on Tuesday in Kigali. He said such products will help deepen Internet penetration in the country. The government targets a mobile phone penetration level of 80 per cent by 2018, from current 63.6 per cent.
Tongai Maramba, the Tigo Rwanda chief executive officer, said the firm seeks to provide products that serve customer needs and help improve livelihoods. He added that the 4G integrated mobile smartphone provides high-speed Internet service, ensuring value-for-money.
The product will be available for post-paid customers at Rwf30,000, for the device, and Rwf50,000 for both 4G data and voice services.
Patrick Hakizimana, a Kigali-based small-and-medium entrepreneur, said increasing Internet and mobile phone connectivity will boost efforts to promote a cashless economy.
According to Rwanda Utility Regulatory Authority (RURA) statistics, smartphones represent 7.1 per cent of the total mobile phones in the country. Tigo has over 2.9 million subscribers, and is the second telecom firm after MTN and Airtel Rwanda.