Barely two months after launching the lowest calling tariff on the market, the country’s leading Internet Service Provider (ISP, Rwandatel, has announced that its subscriber base has grown by 35.2 percent to over 600,000 subscribers.
Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) Rwanda said in June this year that Rwandatel had registered 443,534 active subscribers.
According to Rwandatel’s Corporate Communications Manager, Cleophas Kabasiita, the increase is attributed to the launch of the On-net Rwf3 per minute tariff that attracted 156,466 subscribers in less than three months.
“Our mobile subscribers have grown steadily and we have seen an upsurge with the introduction of each new product and/or service,’ she said in an interview.
However, the operator was targeting the same figures by the end of 2009 when it launched its 3G, GSM technology in December 2008.
Last month the operator announced that VLR or Revenue Generating Subscribers have increased by 182 percent, while the total number of subscribers has risen by 12 percent.
“This percentage seems less than the other figures because of the different profiles of subscribers that we have like post-paid customers and those using modems with SIM cards on our network for the past 90 days,” the official said.
On Monday Rwandatel announced the introduction its first Rwf200 scratch card for its prepaid mobile users.
Up until today, Rwandatel kept its lowest denomination scratch at Rwf500. Other scratch cards on offer are of RWf1000, Rwf2000, Rwf8,000 and Rwf10,000 in addition to its E-Top up solution.
“Our denominations on offer give all customers various options...with on-net calls going for the affordable Rwf3 per minute or Rwf1.5 the cards on the market will allow a customer to make calls for more than an hour,” Kabasiita said.
“By providing varied, affordable and accessible top-up solutions to our customers, we have been able to increase our market penetration,”
Tariff wars are prevailing on Rwanda’s telecom market.
Recently MTN Rwanda announced the slashing of Short Message Services (SMS) pricing on both On-net and Off-net network by 66.6 percent and 52.8 percent respectively in order to keep up with the ongoing competition in the country.
MTN subscribers will be able to send a text message for as low as Rwf10 on On-net from Rwf30 and Rwf25 Off-net from Rwf53. Also on the market, Tigo and Rwandatel offer the cheapest calling and SMS tariffs.