Subscribers of the newly re-branded telecommunication company, Rwandatel will roam with telecoms in 70 different countries by April this year.
This was revealed recently by the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Patrick Kariningufu during the launch of another promotional package dubbed, ‘Choose Your Pair’.
Kariningufu said, “The service is currently active in Uganda with Uganda Telecom (UTL) and in Libya with Al-Madar, and Belgium as well”.
“We are testing in Kenya with Safaricom and will soon start in Tanzania with Vodacom, whereas we are also negotiating in Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),” he added.
Without disclosing more details, Kariningufu also said that Rwandatel is also testing with telecom companies in China, Dubai and the UK among others to meet the target of at least 70 countries. Once rolled out as planned, Rwandatel will have coverage wider than that of MTN, its competitor.
MTN targets to cover about 21 countries by mid this year, across countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East under its One World platform.
Management says the planned roaming service worldwide is part of the efforts to offer world-class service while also increasing on the customer base.
Currently, Rwandatel has over 200,000 active subscribers in barely two months of operational using the 3G/GSM technology, which accounts for a market share of over 15 percent.
The company targets about 600,000 active subscribers by mid this year and a double by December. The increase in the number has been attributed to the low call rates across MTN and the sale of cheap mobile handsets at the launch and the provision of better services.
The newly launched ‘Choose Your Pair’ is also expected to contribute to the rise in the number of subscribers. The company targets about 150,000 Rwandans connected at least by the end the promotion in March.
Under the promotion, a customer will buy a pair of SIM cards at Rwf2, 000 each loaded with Rwf1,000 worth of airtime and 100 free short messages (SMS). Additionally, the package allows the subscribed users to call each other for free between 2200 hrs and 2300hrs.
Meanwhile, the company is in an expansion drive to increase its coverage in rural Rwanda. It is estimated that about 85 percent of Rwandatel’s customers are in Kigali city and the company plans to roll-out services across the country.
The company jointly owned by LAP Green networks a subsidiary of Libyan African Portfolio (LAP) and National Social Security Fund says it has managed to activate 43 out of the require 244 activated masts to achieve the targeted 100 percent population by end of year.
Government targets about 6 million subscribers by 2012.