RURA postpones MNP until 2012

22 Feb 2011

The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) has pushed back the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) from this year to 2012, local newspaper Business Times reports. RURA’s director general, Regis Gatarayiha, said the service, which allows subscribers to retain their phone number when they switch service provider, has been delayed to allow the country’s three mobile operators to fully establish themselves in the market. ‘We have decided to postpone the introduction of the service to 2012 because the market is not yet ready for it; we also want the market to have a 60% [mobile] penetration,’ Gatarayiha said, adding: ‘The bigger advantage for a subscriber comes in the form of better network connectivity with competitive tariff plans. Only those service providers who will deliver on these two fronts will retain a customer.’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, South Africa’s MTN Rwanda is the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, with a total of 2.39 million customers at 30 September 2010, followed by Millicom Rwanda (Tigo) with 548,002 and Rwandatel, owned by Libyan government investment vehicle LAP Green Networks (80%) and the Social Security Fund of Rwanda (20%), which had a total of 535,710 users at the same date.

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