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Please review the Executive Summary and Table of Contents for more details.
Rwandan buses equipped with LTE routers as part of a Smart Kigali initiativeThe Rwandan telecom continues to develop strongly, buttressed by sustained GDP growth which has seen the country develop one the fastest-growing economies in the world. Supported by significant foreign aid, this growth has been buttressed by prudent fiscal and monetary policies which have create a business-friendly environment conducive to investment.
Nevertheless, poverty remains widespread. There is little economic diversity, with up to 99% of the population engaged in agriculture and in the mineral and agro-processing sectors. The financial services sector is also underdeveloped: with banks focussed on government borrowing there is little attention paid to the support of small businesses, and most of the population has little or no access to conventional banking services. In turn, this has made Rwanda one of the more successful markets on the continent for mobile banking and payment services.
Although the country was slow to liberalise the mobile sector, allowing South Africa’s MTN a monopoly until 2006 when the fixed-line incumbent, Rwandatel (since acquired by Liquid Telecom) became the second mobile operator, there is effective competition among the three current operators, each of which provides wide geographic coverage. The launch of services from Tigo in 2009 sparked renewed subscriber growth, though competition has eroded mobile services revenue and ARPU since then. The number of mobile subscribers increased by only 1.4% in the first quarter of 2016.
Rwanda’s internet and broadband sector has suffered from limited fixed-line infrastructure and high prices, but developments in the fixed network market are improving connectivity and reliability. The operators are rolling out national fibre-optic backbone networks which also allow them to connect to the international submarine fibre-optic cables on the African east coast. These cables have given the entire region fibre-based international bandwidth for the first time and brought to an end its dependency on satellites. In early 2016 Liquid Telecom was able to expand its FttP services across areas of the capital Kigali, with a view to extending fibre-based services to a number of towns by the end of the year.
Interest from investors in the country’s ICT sector remains strong. A deal with Korea Telecom has developed a wholesale LTE operator, ORN, which now provides retail services to a number of fixed-line operators as well as to the mobile network operators.
This report contains an overview and analysis of Rwanda’s telecommunications market, profiles of the major players in all market sectors, relevant statistics and analysis, and scenario forecasts to 2021 for the country’s mobile market.
Liquid Telecom expands FttP network in Kigali; fleet of buses equipped with LTE routers to provide mobile broadband for passengers; Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda agree on SMS price cap; government launches initiatives to expand use of mobile broadband nationally; regulator calls for interested parties to manage Mobile Number Portability facility; MNOs implement One Network Area scheme removing roaming charges between Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda; Smart Africa Alliance Initiative to raise $300 billion by 2020 for regional ICT infrastructure; MTN Rwanda and Tigo Rwanda offering LTE for smartphone users; Rwanda Olleh Networks (ORN) launches wholesale LTE services; Liquid Telecom completes East Africa Fibre Ring; government increases telecom tax to 10%; Tigo launches cross-border money transfer service for Tigo Pesa users in Tanzania and Rwanda; report update includes the regulator’s market data to May 2016, telcos’ operating data to Q1 2016, recent market developments.
Market penetration rates in Rwanda’s telecoms sector – 2015 (e)
Mobile SIM (population)78%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)
Companies mentioned in this report:
Rwandatel (Terracom, LapGreen); MTN Rwanda; Liquid Telecom; Millicom (Tigo); Bharti Airtel; Artel Communications; Electrogaz.
Table of Contents
1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Market analysis - latest developments
4.2 Historic overview
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Regulatory authority
5.1.1 Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA)
5.1.2 RITA and NICT
5.3 Market liberalisation
5.3.1 Third national operator licence
5.3.2 Fourth mobile licence: Bharti Airtel
5.5 Universal access
5.5.1 MTN VillagePhone
5.5.2 Cheaper handsets initiatives
5.6 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
6. Fixed network operators
6.1 Rwandatel/Terracom/Liquid Telecom
6.1.2 Network infrastructure
6.1.3 Wireless local loop (WLL)
6.2 Artel Communications
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 National fibre backbone networks
7.1.1 Rwandatel/Terracom/Liquid Telecom
7.1.3 MTN Rwanda
8. International infrastructure
8.2 Submarine fibre optic cables
8.3 The East Africa Backhaul System (EABS)
8.4 Service provision to the DRC
8.5 Smart Africa Alliance
9. Broadband market
9.1 Introduction and statistical overview
9.1.1 Market analysis
9.1.2 Broadband statistics
9.1.3 ISP market
9.1.4 Rwanda Internet Exchange Point (RIXP)
9.1.5 Cybercafes and telecentres
9.1.6 One Laptop per Child (OLPC)
9.2 Broadband infrastructure
9.2.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Networks
9.2.2 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
9.2.4 Fixed wireless (WiMAX, WiBro, Wi-Fi)
10. Digital Economy
11. Digital media
11.1 Digital TV developments
12. Mobile communications
12.1 Market analysis - latest developments
12.2 Mobile statistics
12.2.2 Mobile data
12.2.3 Mobile broadband
12.3 Regulatory issues
12.3.1 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
12.3.2 Tower infrastructure
12.4 Mobile infrastructure
12.4.1 Digital networks
12.5 Major mobile operators
12.5.1 MTN Rwanda
12.5.2 Rwandatel (formerly Terracom Mobile)
12.5.3 Millicom Rwanda (Tigo)
12.5.4 Bharti Airtel Rwanda
12.6 Mobile handsets
12.7 Mobile content and applications
12.7.1 Money transfer, m-banking
13. Related reports
Table 1 - Country statistics Rwanda - 2014 (e)
Table 2 - Fixed-line network statistics - 2015 (e)
Table 3 - Internet provider statistics - 2015
Table 4 - Internet and social media user statistics - 2015 (e)
Table 5 - Mobile statistics - 2015 (e)
Table 6 - National telecommunications authority
Table 7 - Telecom sector investment - 2005 - 2013
Table 8 - Telecom sector revenue - 2001 - 2013
Table 9 - Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1999 - 2004
Table 10 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 2005 - 2015
Table 11 - Fixed lines by operator - 2010 - 2014
Table 12 - International bandwidth - 2006 - 2014
Table 13 - Historic - Internet subscribers and penetration rate - 1999 - 2004
Table 14 - Internet subscribers and penetration rate - 2005- 2015
Table 15 - Internet subscribers by platform - 2005- 2014
Table 16 - Mobile internet market share of subscribers by operator- 2013- 2014
Table 17 - Dial-up internet subscribers by operator - 2013 - 2014
Table 18 - Broadband (>256kb/s) subscribers by type - 2013 - 2014
Table 19 - Internet subscribers by ISP - 2011 - 2014
Table 20 - Registered pay TV subscribers by operator - 2013 - 2014
Table 21 - Active pay TV subscribers by operator - 2013 - 2014
Table 22 -Mobile market share of subscribers by operator - 2011- 2014
Table 23 -Mobile geographic coverage by operator - June 2014
Table 24 -Mobile geographic coverage by operator - December 2014
Table 25 -Mobile population coverage by operator - June 2014
Table 26 -Mobile population coverage by operator - December 2014
Table 27 - Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1999 - 2004
Table 28 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 2005 - 2015
Table 29 - Mobile subscribers by operator (regulator data) - 2009 - 2015
Table 30 - Mobile market share by subscribers - 2013 - 2015
Table 31 - Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration - 2010 - 2014
Table 32 - Mobile broadband market share by operator - 2014
Table 33 - Mobile broadband subscribers by operator - 2014
Table 34 - Forecast mobile subscribers - 2015; 2017; 2020
Table 35 - MTN Rwanda ARPU - 2002 - 2015
Table 36 - MTN Rwanda financial data - 2011 - 2014
Table 37 - MTN Rwanda subscribers - 2012 - 2015
Table 38 - Tigo Rwanda subscribers - 2010 - 2015
Table 39 - Bharti Airtel Rwanda subscribers - 2010 - 2014
Chart 1 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 2010 - 2015
Chart 2 - Internet subscribers and penetration rate - 2005- 2015
Chart 3 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 2005 - 2015
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