RURA confirms plan to license fourth mobile operator

29 Apr 2010

Rwanda’s telecoms regulator, Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA), has announced it will license a fourth national mobile operator ‘soon’, in order to boost wireless penetration. RURA’s director general, Diogene Mudenge, told East African Business Week that the state of the market will determine when the fourth concession will be put up for auction: ‘The date of licensing will depend on the market trends, which will be closely monitored to ensure that the existing operators have consolidated their networks.’ He added that latest entrant Millicom Rwanda, which was licensed in December 2008 and launched services under the Tigo banner in November 2009, should sign up at least 500,000 subscribers before another cellco is awarded a concession. Mudenge also revealed that the regulator has already reserved spectrum and numbering resources for the new operator. According to RURA, as at 16 January 2010 MTN Rwanda was the country’s largest cellco by subscribers with a total customer base of 1.886 million, followed by state-owned telco Rwandatel (487,250) and latest entrant Millicom Rwanda (123,897).

Rwanda, MTN Rwanda, Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), Rwandatel, Tigo Rwanda (now part of Airtel Rwanda)