First time visitors to Rwanda are nearly always impressed when they land at the airport to find free WiFi. Sometimes they will have applied for their visas online and received prompt replies from the immigration department, one of the best service delivery organizations.
The visitor will have landed in “smart Kigali” where internet connections are better and accessible than in many countries.
When the country started rolling out fibre optic cables all over the country, it was following a well thought out blueprint. It wanted information technology to drive the country’s growth.
So when the cable had snaked to all corners of the world, in came Korea Telecom Rwanda Network (KTRN) with the latest technology of the time; the 4G LTE. We were assured of a fast and reliable connection.
But to date, most people are still on the slower 3G network because of the prohibitive prices, and some very poor service by some of the internet providers.
Now KTRN plans to spread its 4G wings to the countryside and it is everyone’s hope that it will not turn out to be a white elephant, because that is what it will be if the prices are well beyond the common man’s reach.
Maybe the high prices are due to a low customer base but unscrupulous internet venders are not making things easier.
Everyday complaints are channeled through social media of data bundles mysteriously evaporating with very little apologies.
Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) needs to step in so that customers get their value for money. Then maybe the customer base will increase which will then have a trickledown effect on the pricing and a truly smart society.