Rwanda - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights and Statistics
Government embarks on initiatives to improve mobile broadband penetration and use
This 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;
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);
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 improving connectivity and reliability. 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 late 2013 with a deal by which Korea Telecom will build a national LTE network. The newly created wholesale operator ORN secured spectrum and an exclusive licence to operate the network for 25 years, launching limited LTE services in November 2014.
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 2016 for the country's mobile market.
Government launches initiatives to expand use of mobile broadband nationally; MNOs implement One Network Area scheme removing roaming charges between Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda; Smart Africa Alliance Initiative announces aim to raise $300 billion by 2020 for regional ICT infrastructure; Bharti Airtel launches cross-border money transfer platform in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, agrees to sell tower assets to IHS Telecoms; Rwanda Olleh Networks (ORN) launches LTE services; Liquid Telecom completes the East Africa Fibre Ring, invests $34 million in domestic FttP networks; Airtel launches Airtel Zone; Northern Corridor plan roaming agreement implemented; government increases telecom tax to 10%; government services to be available online from early 2015; additional mobile network operator enters the market; Tigo launches cross-border money transfer service for Tigo Pesa users in Tanzania and Rwanda to send and receive funds; JV created with Korea Telecom to build a national LTE network; strong mobile subscriber growth continuing; mobile market forecasts to 2016; MTN Group sells tower network to IHS Holding (IHS); Liquid Telecom takes over from the failed Rwandatel; regulator's market data to December 2014; telcos' operating data to Q4 2014; recent market developments.
Market penetration rates in Rwanda's telecoms sector 2014 (e)
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile | 70%
Fixed | 0.45%
Internet | 27.0%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)
Companies covered in this report:
Rwandatel (Terracom, LapGreen); MTN Rwanda; Liquid Telecom; Millicom (Tigo); Bharti Airtel; Artel Communications; Electrogaz.
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