The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) has warned that more than 900,000 mobile accounts could be threatened with closure under new regulations to limit the number of SIM cards per user to three for each of the country’s two networks. Cellular operators Airtel-Tigo and MTN Rwanda currently serve around 9.7 million customers between them. A report from The New Times cites Patrick Nyirishema, the Director General of RURA, as saying: ‘We are working [in] real time with the operators, but right now, potentially about 10% of subscribers, we think, will be affected.’
Under the new rules, which were announced earlier this month, exemptions are available for businesses and for parents who wish to buy SIM cards for their children. The regulations, which come into force today (31 January), are designed to ensure that all SIM cards are registered to a single user in order to prevent mobile phones being used for criminal purposes.