Rwanda Telecommunications Q4 2018
Key View :
We have revised upwards our mobile forecast following positive growth in 2017 and Q118. However, the mandatorySIM registration process initiated by the regulator in Q118 poses downside risk to our market forecast. We expect strong uptake in3G/4G connections to be the main growth driver of the market - cannibalising mobile and wireline broadband connections. There isstill scope for organic growth owing to Rwanda's mobile market penetration rate of 72.2% at the end of 2017. However, thecountry's large rural population holds most of this potential, necessitating investment in rural and under served areas. The high costof network deployment to these areas, as well as the low purchasing power of rural dwellers, have been major disincentives forinvestment in capital-intensive network development projects. However, the increasing saturation of urban areas will likelyencourage operators to expand their networks into these areas. Additionally, the regulator's approval of the Tigo-Airtel merger willresult in a duopoly, as two of the region's largest players remain in the market. That said, we believe the government's adoption ofmore aggressive ICT policies, in view of rapidly expanding access, will pose upside risks to our mobile forecast.
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