Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency wants to inform the public that information given by Rwandatel, this week, that its active mobile subscriber base had grown by 20 percent from 600,000 subscribers by the end of last year to 721,000 is not accurate.
RURA is, by law, the telecom industry regulator and is the only institution mandated to monitor the performance, collect, validate and officially publish sector performance statistics.
Operators provide their statistical data to RURA on a monthly basis and we perform the necessary validation procedures with the same operators before the statistics are published so as to avoid the potentially misleading information that can be used by some operators as a competitive tool to make the public believe that they are doing well with deceiving market shares as is the case with Rwandatel nowadays.
The statistics that are published by RURA are “active subscribers” meaning the number of subscribers that have been active on each network, with at least one income generating activity using the same SIM CARD during the last 90 days, by either a mobile originating or terminating call or SMS during those 90 days.
At the end of January 2011, The “ACTIVE” mobile subscriber statistics validated by RURA after receiving all reports from all three licensed operators gave Rwandatel 345,771, not 721,000 as it alleged.
If we were to publish subscriber statistics based on all SIM Cards registered on each operator databases, we would have very misleading information about the mobile penetration rate because you would have more than three million subscribers for MTN, more than One million for TIGO and about Seven Hundred Thousand for RWANDATEL which is what they are wrongly reporting in the media for reasons that we are currently investigating along with the ongoing enforcement of compliance to their license obligations with applicable penalties in case of continued failure to comply.
RURA, Director General