Editorial: Consumers have a right to demand better service

Airtel, hitherto the smallest player in the country’s telecom industry, has taken over Tigo Rwanda operations that could soon propel it to the top of the ladder. The takeover came as a surprise as Tigo was doing relatively well and was giving the telecom leader, MTN, a run for its money.

Airtel, hitherto the smallest player in the country’s telecom industry, has taken over Tigo Rwanda operations that could soon propel it to the top of the ladder.

The takeover came as a surprise as Tigo was doing relatively well and was giving the telecom leader, MTN, a run for its money.

At this age where nearly everyone is wired, such a takeover has ramifications because the mobile phone and the internet literally run our lives. Everyone will be looking to see whether the takeover will spell doom or salvation for subscribers, whether the smaller playing field will usher in a healthy competition and better services.

Years ago when MTN was a monopoly, it literally called the tune and customers had no other option but to play along. At that time the regulatory body was quasi non-existent or only did so on paper only.

But when other players entered the market, services improved for the better and there was more oversight from Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA). With the field now narrowed to two players, there is need for more vigilance on the part of RURA whether the two telecoms will not create a cartel to the detriment of customers and whether the latter will be getting true value for their money.

Whatever the outcome, it is high time consumers came together to advocate for their rights of access to better and efficient services. Service providers should not be the only ones calling the shots while consumers pay lip service.

They have a right to demand for services commensurate to what they paid for or even better. For starters, Airtel and MTN should ensure seamless disruption-free services during the festive season and if possible give a Christmas bonus to their faithful subscribers.

Merry Christmas to our faithful readers.

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