Rwandatel loses mobile license

KIGALI - Effective midnight on Friday April 8, 2011, all subscribers to the Rwandatel cell-phone network will no longer be able to use their lines for calls or mobile data.This follows a decision taken, yesterday, by the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), to revoke Rwandatel’s mobile telecommunications license.RURA’s boss Regis Gatarayiha confirmed the development.

KIGALI - Effective midnight on Friday April 8, 2011, all subscribers to the Rwandatel cell-phone network will no longer be able to use their lines for calls or mobile data.

This follows a decision taken, yesterday, by the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), to revoke Rwandatel’s mobile telecommunications license.
RURA’s boss Regis Gatarayiha confirmed the development.

Rwandatel has been using 075 as their mobile phone code and has over 500,000 subscribers.

“The board (RURA) gave Rwandatel until Friday so that their subscribers can use the airtime and clear other outstanding issues with the operator,” Gatarayiha said.

RURA announced, last week, that it would decide on the fate of Rwandatel, after the telecoms company failed to comply with contractual obligations.

There had been a series of complaints from subscribers regarding its ineffectiveness, especially of its modems and a high rate of dropped calls, which RURA said, reflected the poor quality of service.

Rwandatel will continue operating fixed lines, which are mainly used in offices.

“We have revoked the mobile and data (3G) but they will continue operating the fixed lines which has a different license” Gatarayiha said.

Rwandatel has over 535,710 subscribers, putting it third behind MTN Rwanda with 2.3 million and Tigo Rwanda with 685,000 users.

The telecom company is partially owned by Libyan investment group -   LAP Green – with an 80% stake and the Social Security Fund of Rwanda (SSFR) which has 20 percent.

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