Rwandatel remain dominant Internet provider in the country
MTN Rwanda’s market share dropped from 96 percent to 80 percent by the end of 2008 according to statistics availed by the recently released African Economic Report (AEO).
The AEO report recently released by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Kigali attributed the drop to Rwandatel’s increase of it’s subscriber based to about 120,000 there by increasing its market share from 4 percent to slightly below 20 percent.
However MTN officials said that though the numbers could have been overtaken by trends in the market they are yet to verify the information presented by the report.
Rwandatel’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Patrick Kariningufu told Business Times that the magic behind the increase in the company’s market share was because Rwandatel has made a commitment to providing innovative ways to mobile telephony and also introduce new products on the market.
Kariningufu also revealed that Rwandatel is working with Uganda Telecom (UTL) its sister company in Uganda, to have the company connected to SEACOM the coastal submarine optic fiber cable within a few months to come.
“We are in talks with the management of SEACOM and we will be connected within a few weeks time.
We have a technology, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is known to have the best technology in world with fewer costs depending on the company,” Kariningufu said.
According to the report, Rwandatel still remained the dominant Internet provider during the period reviewed.
”Rwandatel has 62 percent on its ADSL network compared to MTN’s 35 percent on the GPRS (32KBps) and Wimax network (64 KBps, 256 KBps and 1 MBps). Artel and ISPA share the remaining 3 percent,” the report says.
The report says that Rwandatel still has about 3,000 subscribers on dial-up, a conventional technology which Rwandatel’s Kariningufu explained offers the best voice via communication.
It also says that fixed telephone subscription in the country remain low at only 21,801 at the end of September 2007 and that tele-density is expected to rise further from 0.30 percent by end of 2007 to 2 percent by the year 2010.
“The privatization of Rwandatel has helped to increase competition among mobile telephone operators, leading to a decrease in costs,” the report states.
On other Information Communication Technology (ICT) issues, the report says that public universities in the country now include ICT curricula and private registered ICT training and testing institutions have sprung up and all government ministries and agencies.
At all institutions have an ICT training and development budget.
The report goes on to stated that in the period of over four-year, more than Rwf26 billion has been only invested in the ICT sector, of which Rwf8.5 billion was realised in 2007.
Projects that have benefited from these investments include Kalisimbi, the national ID project, SmartGov, government internet connectivity, Telecenters, Telemedecine, SchoolNet project.
A Korean Telecom (KT) signed a deal worth $40 million with the government to implement Rwanda’s national backbone project that is expected to connect the entire country on a fibre-optic broadband network by end of this year.