Home Business & Tech Rwanda: Mobile Penetration Hits Nearly 10 Million

Rwanda: Mobile Penetration Hits Nearly 10 Million

by Daniel Sabiiti
12:21 pm

BPR’s MD Maurice Toroitich uses his phone to demonstrate how to transfer funds to other banks’ account using BPR’s mobile banking instantly

Rwanda’s telecommunications industry has registered a remarkable growth in the third quarter, with figures showing an increase in subscription, penetration and mobile money usage.

Data released by Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) indicate that Mobile phone subscriptions reached 9,665,544 in October this year compared to 9,321,347 as of end of July from 9,226,721 at the end of June same year.

According to RURA, mobile-cellular telephone penetration rate hit 81.8% compared to 76.6 % in the same periods.

The number of mobile money subscriptions stood at Rwf10.7 billion with mobile money transactions at Rwf97.1 million in the October report compared to Rwf84.23 million (transactions) and 10.1 million active mobile money subscribers.

However RURA report showed a decline and increase in the trend of active mobile telephone subscriptions from January to October 2018.

For example, postpaid subscriptions declined from 138,378 at the end of September this year to 58,044 at the end of October same year, while prepaid subscriptions increased from 9,527,166 at the end of September 2018 to 9,553,954 as of October 2018.

“The decline of post-paid subscriptions was due to the removal of hybrid customers which were previously reported as post-paid customers instead of pre-paid customers,” a RURA report said.

RURA also reported a decline in the total number of active mobile telephone subscriptions (90-days revenue generating subscribers) by 0.55% between September and October this year.

It is in this regard, said RURA, mobile-cellular telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants decreased by 0.45% from 81.85% to 81.39%.

Market share continued to be led by the merger of Tigo-Airtel who regained a large marked with about 5.1 million subscribers compared to MTN Rwanda that has 3.5 million subscribers.

At the end of October 2018, MTN Rwanda recorded 47% of the market share in mobile-cellular telephone subscriptions whereas Airtel and Tigo Rwanda had 53%.