63% of Rwandans own a mobile phone

Mobile telephone subscribers have increased to about 63 per cent, a development that boosts government’s efforts to deepen access to phones in the country.

According to the latest statistics from the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency, the number of mobile phone users stood at 6,593,033 last month, up from 6,583,390 in October. This represents 9,643 new subscribers, indicating that 62.6 per cent of the population owns a mobile phone compared to 61.4 per cent in October.

Tigo was the month’s highest gainer compared to the other telecoms, registering an addition of 42,127 customers to reach 2,141,037, from 2,098,910 people in October. It was followed by Airtel, which recorded 6,822 new subscribers to reach 935,353 clients, up from 928,531 subscribers. MTN was, however, on the losing end as 39,306 subscribers abandoned the network, according to the Rura monthly report.

The firm’s customer base as of end November stood at 3,516,643 customers, down from 3,555,949 customers in October. The network operator experienced a couple of technical hitches during the month, which the regulator said had been reported and was reinstated back to normal.

Commenting on their performance, Philip Amoateng, the Tigo Rwanda chief finance officer, said they would continue to ensure that Rwandans access a digital lifestyle that will empower them.

The three telecoms firms have been fighting for customers using different promotions and products. The race could only get tighter.

By Ben Gasore,The New Times

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