Rwandatel warned over failure to meet licence obligations

14 Feb 2011

The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) has warned telecoms operator Rwandatel that it could lose its mobile licence or face a fine for failing to meet performance targets, Reuters reports. ‘Every licensed operator has binding performance targets in terms of investment, coverage, network rollout and quality of service… to comply with in a timeframe,’ stated Francois Gatarayiha, acting director general of RURA, adding: ‘We therefore refer to non-compliance in cases where these are not fulfilled, as is the case with Rwandatel.’ According to Gatarayiha, Rwandatel, which is owned by Libyan government investment vehicle LAP Green Networks (80%) and the Social Security Fund of Rwanda (20%), first failed to achieve its performance targets in 2009, including coverage and rollout obligations, and quality of service and planned investment. RURA has now given the operator seven days to appeal the notice and until the end of the month to fulfill its licence obligations. In response, Rwandatel’s chief executive, Hamidou Isiaka, said: ‘We feel the decision to issue this notice was unfair and we are going to appeal. This being an on-going matter we cannot comment further at this time.’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Rwandatel is the country’s third largest mobile operator by subscribers, with a market share of 15.4% at 30 September 2010, behind South Africa’s MTN Rwanda (68.8%) and Millicom Rwanda (Tigo, 15.8%).