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Rwanda - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


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Rwanda - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

Joint venture with Korea telecom to provide national LTE network by 2016

This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Rwanda's telecommunications market.

Subjects covered include:

One of the fastest growing mobile markets in Africa;
Key statistics;
Market and industry overviews;
Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
Telecoms operators privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
Infrastructure development;
Mobile voice and data markets, including 3G;
Internet development and pricing;
Broadband, including 3G mobile;
Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile);
Average revenue per user (ARPU).

The Rwandan telecom sector has shown particularly strong growth in recent years, buttressed by a vibrant economy and a GDP which has sustained growth of between 7% and 8% annually since 2008. As a result, the country is rapidly catching up with other markets in Africa, with increased penetration particularly evident in the internet and mobile sectors.

Although the country was slow to liberalise the mobile sector, allowing South Africa's MTN a monopoly until 2006 when the fixed-line incumbent, Rwandatel became the second mobile operator, there is effective competition among the three current operators, each of which provides wide geographic coverage. The launch of services from Millicom/Tigo in 2009 sparked renewed subscriber growth, though competition has eroded mobile services revenue and ARPU since then.

Rwanda's internet and broadband sector has suffered from limited fixed-line infrastructure and high prices, but developments in the fixed network market are beginning to change this. The operators are rolling out national fibre-optic backbone networks which also allow them to connect to the international submarine fibre-optic cables that landed on the African east coast in 2009 and 2010. These cables have given the entire region fibre-based international bandwidth for the first time and brought to an end its dependency on satellites.

Interest from investors in the country's ICT sector remains strong, particularly during the last few years. An existing deal with Korea Telecom to build a national fibre backbone was supplemented in September 2013 with a deal by which Korea Telecom will build a national LTE network, for which it has secured spectrum and an exclusive licence to operate the network for 25 years.

This report contains an overview and analysis of Rwanda's telecommunications market, profiles of the major players in all market sectors, relevant statistics and analysis, and scenario forecasts to 2013 and 2016 for the country's mobile market.

Key developments:

Additional mobile network operator enters the market; JV created with Korea Telecom to build a national LTE network; strong mobile subscriber growth continuing;
mobile market forecasts to 2016; regulator's market data to August 2013; market developments to September 2013.
Estimated market penetration rates in Rwanda's telecoms sector end-2013
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile | 65%
Fixed | 0.4%
Internet | 13.6%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Companies covered in this report:

Rwandatel (Terracom, LapGreen); MTN Rwanda; Millicom (Tigo); Bharti Airtel; Artel Communications; Electrogaz.


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Market analysis 2013
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Regulatory authority
4.1.1 Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA)
4.1.2 RITA and NICT
4.2 Licensing
4.3 Market liberalisation
4.3.1 Third national operator licence
4.3.2 Fourth mobile licence: Bharti Airtel
4.4 Interconnection
4.5 Universal access
4.5.1 MTN VillagePhone
4.5.2 Cheaper handsets' initiatives
5. Fixed network operators in Rwanda
5.1 Fixed-line statistics
5.2 Rwandatel/Terracom
5.2.1 Privatisation
5.2.2 Network infrastructure
5.2.3 Wireless local loop (WLL)
5.3 Artel Communications
6. National fibre backbone networks
6.1 Rwandatel/Terracom
6.2 Electrogaz
6.3 MTN
7. International infrastructure
7.1 VSAT
7.2 Submarine fibre optic cables
7.2.1 Seacom
7.2.2 EASSy
7.2.3 TEAMS
7.3 The East Africa Backhaul System (EABS)
7.4 Service provision to the DRC
8. Internet market
8.1 Overview
8.1.1 Internet statistics
8.2 ISP market
8.3 Rwanda Internet Exchange Point (RIXP)
8.4 Cybercafes and telecentres
8.5 One Laptop per Child (OLPC)
8.5.1 Similar initiatives
8.6 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
9. Broadband market
9.1 Overview
9.2 ADSL
9.3 EV-DO
9.4 WiMAX, WiBro
9.5 WiFi
10. Digital Economy
10.1 E-government
10.2 E-health
10.3 E-learning
11. Mobile communications
11.1 Overview of Rwanda's mobile market
11.1.1 Mobile statistics
11.2 Major mobile operators
11.2.1 MTN Rwanda
11.2.2 Rwandatel (formerly Terracom Mobile)
11.2.3 Millicom Rwanda (Tigo)
11.3 Mobile handsets
11.4 Mobile data services
11.5 Third generation (3G)
11.6 Mobile money transfer, m-banking
12. Digital TV developments
13. Forecasts
13.1 Forecasts mobile market 2013, 2016
13.2 Notes on scenario forecasts
14. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Rwanda 2013 (e)
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2013 (e)
Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2013
Table 4 Internet and social media user statistics 2013 (Jun)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2013 (Aug)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Telecom sector investment 2005 - 2013
Table 8 Telecom sector revenue 2001 - 2013
Table 9 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1999 - 2004
Table 10 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 - 2013
Table 11 Fixed lines by operator 2010 - 2013
Table 12 Historic - Internet users and penetration rate 1999 - 2004
Table 13 Internet users and penetration rate 2005- 2013
Table 14 Internet subscribers by ISP 2011 - 2013
Table 15 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1999 - 2004
Table 16 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2014
Table 17 Mobile subscribers by operator 2009 - 2013
Table 18 MTN Rwanda ARPU 2002 - 2013
Table 19 MTN Rwanda revenue 2011 - 2013
Table 20 Forecast mobile subscribers 2013; 2016
Chart 1 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2010 2013
Chart 2 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2014
Exhibit 1 e-Soko

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