The number of Rwandans owning mobile phones has increased marginally to over 8.932 million subscribers in June, up from 8.82 million the previous month, driven by new initiatives and promotions by telecoms to attract new customers.
According to the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority’s (RURA) mobile phone subscription statistics monthly report for June, the number of Rwandans owning mobile phones increased by 1.3 per cent over the month. Airtel Rwanda was the biggest gainer, adding 115,350 new subscribers during the reporting period to hit 1.83 million subscribers in June, up from 1.78 million customers in May.
Tigo gained 41,522 subscribers to over 3.11 million, up from 3.069 million mobile users in May.
MTN, Rwanda’s leading telecom firm ended its five-month downward trend, attracting 22,245 new customers in June. The firm now boasts of 3.988 million subscribers, an increase from 3.966 million clients in May.
There was a general increase in the post-paid market segment, with subscription growing from 90,328 at the end of May to 104,185 in June, and the pre-paid market segment subscribers grew from 8.73 million to 8.83 million subscribers during the period, resulting into a total subscription level of over 8.932 million for both pre-paid and post-paid market segments. This is a record high for the year from 8.787 million mobile phone users in January, and 8.888 million in March.
Sunny Ntayombya, the Tigo corporate communications and government relations manager, attributed the growth in client numbers to new initiatives by the telecom firm and “seasonal gains, like students returning home for holidays and visitors coming into the country for tourism and conferences”.
Teta Mpyisi, the MTN Rwanda senior manager for brand and sponsorship, said the telecom introduced different schemes and promotions like ‘Yolo’ for the youth, “Damarara” consumer royalty promotion, and weekend packs, adding that the increase in subscriber figures could be one of the immediate results.
Telecoms, like many other competitive sectors, use promotions to attract new customers and increase gadget sales.