Rwanda’s mobile telephone penetration rate rises to 74.5%

Telecom firms recorded mixed fortunes last month with Tigo Rwanda experiencing a drop in subscribers following many months of gains, while Airtel and MTN user figures inched up. According to the monthly Active Mobile Telephone Subscriptions September report by Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), the total number of Airtel Rwanda’s active mobile telephone subscribers inched up by 1.2 per cent last month to 1.62 million from 1.60 million users in August.
Mobile telephone market share as at September 30, 2017. (Source: RURA)
Mobile telephone market share as at September 30, 2017. (Source: RURA)

Telecom firms recorded mixed fortunes last month with Tigo Rwanda experiencing a drop in subscribers following many months of gains, while Airtel and MTN user figures inched up.

According to the monthly Active Mobile Telephone Subscriptions September report by Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), the total number of Airtel Rwanda’s active mobile telephone subscribers inched up by 1.2 per cent last month to 1.62 million from 1.60 million users in August. The telecom seems to be benefiting from the ongoing “Tunga” promotion, where customers stand to win many prizes including motorcycles and the grand prize of a car. Tigo and MTN have also been conducting customer reward promos. Tigo registered a 0.2 per cent drop in customer numbers to 3.38 million from 3.39 million users the previous month.

MTN customers rose to 3.576 million, up from 3,574 in August, the RURA report indicates. The different customer promotions currently being conducted by the three telecom firms are not necessarily translating into number gains for all as these RURA figures indicate.

Overall, Rwanda’s mobile telephone penetration rate rose slightly to 74.5 compared to 74.4 per cent a month before, bringing the number of active users in September to 8.59 million people from 8.58 million in August. Last month, postpaid subscription increased from 126,614 at the end of August to 128,156 in September, while prepaid users rose to 8,464,388 as of September 30, up from 8,453,909 the previous month.

The market share remains unchanged with MTN Rwanda still leading at 42 per cent, Tigo 39 per cent, while Airtel controls 19 of the market.

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