Ten firms have expressed interest in a third telecom operator’s licence to be awarded December this year. By press time The New Times could not indentify the interested firms.
The third telecom operator was invited after MTN Rwanda and Rwandatel duopoly is about to expire this month. The successful operator will be issued with both mobile and fixed licences for duration of 15 years.
Diogène Mudenge, Director General of Rwanda Utility Regulatory Authority (Rura) said a liberalised and competitive market needs more players.
With a third operator, the government believes it will reach its target of giving 5 million Rwandans access to telecommunication services within the next five years.
Mudenge, however, said that the new operator must have the capacity to meet Rwanda’s ICT objectives as detailed in the Vision 2020 strategy. The Vision seeks to fundamentally transform the country into a middle-income nation.
Government also hopes liberalisation will enhance market penetration in communication services from the current 8 per cent. Currently, MTN Rwanda and Rwandatel serve the voice and data market.
MTN has a larger market share in mobile telephony, estimated at 600,000 subscribers. Rwandatel is controlling a majority of the fixed-line market.