More than 400,000 data subscribers in Rwanda, says RURA

Figures released by Rwanda’s Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) as of end of June 2010 indicate that MTN Rwanda is now the leading provider of data and Internet services, surpassing incumbent provider Rwandatel acquiring 78.44 percent of the market share.

Figures released by Rwanda’s Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) as of end of June 2010 indicate that MTN Rwanda is now the leading provider of data and Internet services, surpassing incumbent provider Rwandatel acquiring 78.44 percent of the market share.

According to the statistics from the regulatory body MTN holds 431,209 Internet and data subscribers, while Rwandatel has 40, 262 subscribers representing 17.60 percent market share. The report doesn’t indicate what kind of data subscribers are listed, whether they are just simply mobile data users, GPRS card holders, Internet cafes or just individual Internet subscribers.

Only a year ago Rwandatel which is partly owned by Rwandan Governement and the Libyan investment consortium, LAP Green, held a commanding 70 percent of the market.

“Rwandatel is no longer the market leading provider of data and internet services in the country,” the statement signed by RURA’s Ag Director General, Francois Regis Gatarayiha indicated.

Tigo Rwanda which has only operated in the country for not more than 10 months is the third leading Internet Service Provider (ISP) with 21,797 subscribers holding a 3.7 percent market share as of June 2010.

The statement says New Artel has 288 subscribers holding 0.12 percent market share, Altech Streams 264 subscribers with 0.10 percent market share, ISPA 60 subscribers with 0.03 percent market share and Value Data Rwanda with 20 subscribers holding 0.01 percent market share.

It also indicates that there are about 493,900 Internet and data subscribers in the country as per end of June 2010 making 4.93 percent Internet subscribers per a hundreds inhabitants.

Tigo’s Head of Marketing and Sales Diego Camberos told The Business Times, “Tigo is a company which has operated for less than a year. With those figures we ought to be proud of ourselves. We keep and are committed to grow by making our services and products available and accessible.”

“With availability it means having an extensive network with sufficient capacity so that mobile services are readily available to our customers in as many locations as possible. That is the same commitment we have for our data and internet segment,” he added. MTN officials declined to comment.

However, according to Rwandatel, the 40,262 figures released by the regulator are not the ISP’s over-role data and Internet subscribers.

“Currently we have close to 90,000 subscribers on fixed Internet, mobile data (GPRS), (Evolution-Data Optimized) EVDO and other services we offer,” Rwandatel’s Chief Commercial Officer, Francis Egbuson said.

Egbuson also added that immediately after the SEACOM outage back in July, the telecom operator upgraded its capacity, were its now offering a back-up capacity from two additional suppliers (74 Mb from one supplier and 140 Mb from another) bringing its total capacity on satellite to 214 Mb which is 26 percent above its monthly utilisation.

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