11 October 2018

Rwanda: Internet Subscribers Up By 25%

The number of people using the internet in Rwanda increased from 4,375,016 in June 2017 to 5,475,448 in June this year, according to figures released by Rwanda Regulatory Agency (RURA).

Patrick Nyirishema, the Director General of RURA, attributed the rise to increased internet coverage and flexible pricing of internet bundles.

RURA said in a report it released this week that internet penetration rate at the end of June 2018 was 46.4 per cent.

National internet coverage stands at 96.6 per cent, Nyirishema said, adding that geographic coverage reflects increased accessibility to people, businesses and services.

He said that internet retail prices have dropped on account of flexible pricing models deployed by telecom firms, which allows clients to choose data plans based on their purchasing power.

The report also indicates that the increased internet subscription rate is partly driven by the rise in usage and adoption of online services, modernisation of MTN 3G mobile network, and deployment of fibre optic to people's homes by Liquid Telecom, among other factors.

Desire Ngabonziza, the Chief Strategy officer at Korean Telecommunication Rwanda Networks (KTRN) - the sole wholesaler of 4G LTE - said the fact that subscribers have increased is a joint effort from the Government and the private sector to improve consistency and affordability of internet prices.

In addition, mobile subscription increased from 8,819,217 to 9,226,721 subscribers during the period under review, which reflects a 4.6 per cent rise, according to the report. Mobile penetration now stands at 78.1 per cent, up from 76.5 per cent.

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