Rwanda - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Rwanda - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Rwandan expands on its regional ITU hub ambitions
Rwanda's steadily developing telecom market has attracted the attention of a range of organisations which have chosen the country as a test bed for internet connectivity projects. Most recently these have included the ITU and UNICEF, which are involved in a global scheme to provide internet services to schools.
The country was slow to liberalise the mobile sector, allowing MTN a monopoly until 2006 when the fixed-line incumbent, Rwandatel (since acquired by Liquid Telecom) became the second mobile operator. There was effective competition among three operators after Tigo launched services in 2009. However, the acquisition of Tigo by Airtel saw a significant consolidation in the market, and the cancellation of Rwandatel's licence in 2011 resulted in the market becoming a duopoly.
The fixed broadband sector has suffered from limited fixed-line infrastructure and high prices. Nevertheless, operators are rolling out national backbone networks which also allow them to connect to the international submarine cables on Africa's east coast. These cables gave the entire region greater internet bandwidth and ended the dependency on satellites. Liquid Telecom has since continued to expand its FttP services across Kigali and a number of other towns.
Interest from investors in the country's ICT sector remains strong. A deal with Korea Telecom has developed a wholesale LTE operator, Korea Telecom Rwanda Networks, which provides retail services to a number of fixed-line operators as well as to the MNOs. The number of subscribers on LTE infrastructure has increased sharply, helped by national LTE coverage achieved in mid-2018.
BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.
On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.
Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.
The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

Rwanda's schools benefit from connection to One Web Satellite's network;
SIM card registration scheme enhanced with biometrics;
MTN invests in network upgrades;
Government commits to smart city infrastructure investment;
Liquid Telecom expands FttP network;
ITU and UNICEF select Rwanda as a partner for their global Giga' initiative;
MNOs implement One Network Area scheme removing roaming charges;
Smart Africa Alliance Initiative to raise $300 billion by 2020 for regional ICT infrastructure;
KTRN upgrades its new national LTE infrastructure;
Report update includes the regulator's market data to August 2020, telcos' operating data to Q2 2020, Telecom Maturity Index tables, charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

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


1 Key statistics
2 Regional African Market Comparison
2.1 TMI vs GDP
2.2 Mobile and mobile broadband
2.3 Fixed and mobile broadband
3 Country overview
4 Covid-19 and its impact on the telecom sector
4.1 Economic considerations and responses
4.2 Mobile devices
4.3 Subscribers
4.4 Infrastructure
5 Regulatory environment
5.1 Regulatory authority
5.2 Fixed-line developments
5.3 Mobile network developments
6 Telecommunications market
6.1 Market analysis
6.2 Historic overview
7 Mobile market
7.1 Market analysis
7.2 Mobile statistics
7.3 Mobile infrastructure
7.4 Major mobile operators
7.5 Mobile handsets
7.6 Mobile content and applications
8 Fixed-line broadband market
8.1 Introduction and statistical overview
8.2 Rwanda Internet Exchange Point (RIXP)
8.3 Cybercafes and telecentres
8.4 One Laptop per Child (OLPC)
8.5 Other initiatives
8.6 Fixed-line broadband technologies
9 Digital Economy
9.1 E-government
9.2 E-health
9.3 E-learning
9.4 Cloud services
10 Fixed network operators
10.1 Liquid Telecom
10.2 Artel Communications
11 Telecommunications infrastructure
11.1 Overview of the national telecom network
11.2 International infrastructure
12 Appendix Historic data
13 Glossary of abbreviations
14 Related reports
Table 1 Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities Rwanda 2020 (e)
Table 2 Decline in termination rates by service (RWF per minute/SMS) 2017 2019
Table 3 Development of telecom sector investment 2010 2020
Table 4 Development of telecom sector revenue 2010 2020
Table 5 Change in the number of prepaid and contract mobile subscribers 2016 2020
Table 6 Change in mobile call tariffs 2009 2020
Table 7 Development of mobile sector revenue 2015 2020
Table 8 Mobile geographic coverage by operator 2018
Table 9 Mobile population coverage by operator 2018
Table 10 Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration 2010 2025
Table 11 Mobile subscribers by operator (regulator data) 2009 2020
Table 12 Change in the market share of mobile subscribers by operator 2011 - 2020
Table 13 Growth in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2011 2025
Table 14 Change in the share of mobile internet subscribers by operator 2013- 2020
Table 15 Change in the number of mobile internet subscribers by operator 2014 2020
Table 16 Development of MTN Rwanda's mobile ARPU 2010 2020
Table 17 MTN Rwanda financial data 2012 2020
Table 18 Growth in the number of MTN Rwanda's mobile subscribers 2012 2020
Table 19 Change in the number of Airtel Rwanda's subscribers 2010 2020
Table 20 M-money transactions and value 2012 2018
Table 21 Growth in the number of internet users and penetration 2010- 2020
Table 22 Internet subscribers by platform 2011 - 2020
Table 23 Dial-up internet subscribers by operator 2013 2020
Table 24 Change in the number of fixed broadband (>256kb/s) subscribers by operator 2013 2020
Table 25 Internet subscribers by major ISP 2011 2020
Table 26 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2010 2020
Table 27 Change in the number of fixed lines by operator 2010 2020
Table 28 Increase in international bandwidth 2010 2020
Table 29 Historic - Telecom sector investment 2005 2009
Table 30 Historic - Telecom sector revenue 2002 2009
Table 31 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1999 2009
Table 32 Historic - Internet subscribers and penetration rate 1999 2009
Table 33 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1999 2009
Table 34 Historic - MTN Rwanda ARPU 2002 2009
Table 35 Historic - Tigo Rwanda B2C subscribers 2010 2017
Table 36 Tigo Rwanda mobile subscribers 2015 2018
Table 37 Historic - International bandwidth 2006 2009
Chart 1 Overall Africa view - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita 2018
Chart 2 East Africa - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per capita
Chart 3 Africa Middle-tier Telecoms Maturity Index (Market Leaders)
Chart 4 East Africa Telecoms Maturity Index by country
Chart 5 East Africa mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration
Chart 6 East Africa fixed and mobile penetration rates
Chart 7 Development of telecom sector investment 2010 2020
Chart 8 Development of telecom sector investment 2010 2020
Chart 9 Change in the number of prepaid and contract mobile subscribers (thousand) 2016 2020
Chart 10 Development of mobile sector revenue 2015 2020
Chart 11 Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration 2010 2025
Chart 12 Change in the market share of mobile subscribers by operator 2011 - 2020
Chart 13 Growth in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2011 2025
Chart 14 Change in the share of mobile internet subscribers by operator 2013- 2020
Chart 15 Change in the number of mobile internet subscribers by operator (thousand) 2014 2020
Chart 16 Development of MTN Rwanda's mobile ARPU 2010 2020
Chart 17 MTN Rwanda financial data (ZAR million) 2012 2020
Chart 18 Growth in the number of MTN Rwanda's mobile subscribers 2012 2020
Chart 19 Change in the number of Airtel Rwanda's subscribers 2010 2020
Chart 20 Growth in the number of internet users (thousand) and penetration 2010- 2020
Chart 21 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2010 2020
Exhibit 1 Generalised Market Characteristics by Market Segment
Exhibit 2 East Africa - Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country

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