With the projection from the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) that Rwanda’s mobile phone users will increase to six billion before the end of the year; there is the likelihood that the country might not meet up to its expectation.

According to the report released by the regulatory agency, the total number of phone users in Rwanda stands at 4,759,310 in June. This is almost half of the country’s population.

From available data, the number of phone users in Rwanda increased by 3.02 percent between May and June. The numbers increased from 4,619,429 to 4,759,310 within this period.

Airtel, the newest telecom network in the country added 54,904 subscribers in the month of June from 55,400 the previous month – making a total of 110,304 mobile subscribers.

Head of Communication at RURA, Jean Baptist Mutabazi, noted that, “The increase is normal and it is justified by the coming in of a new player (Airtel). However, according to the recent increases, I believe we won’t make the 6 million target by December— may be if Airtel does something special to increase its customer base.”

On the other hand, MTN added 46,208 hitting a mark of 3,033,421 while Tigo, which is owned by Luxembourg-based Millicom International Cellular SA (MICC), attracted 38,769 users in June.

Altogether, the country’s mobile penetration increased by 1.4 percent to 44.4 per cent – from 43 percent in May.

Although, Rwanda plans to increase internet penetration to 60 percent penetration by the end of this year, its present figure on internet penetration is the lowest in the region after Burundi.


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