MTN, Tigo lose subscribers as Airtel gain in May

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Both the telecom sector’s giant MTN Rwanda and the second Tigo Rwanda have lost subscribers in the month of May, 2016 while the third operator Airtel Rwanda gained higher than what its rivals lost.

Statistics from the regulator Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority-RURA for the month of May indicate that MTN -Rwanda lost 19,107 prepaid subscribers to 3,923666 down from 3,942,773  in April while Tigo shed off 31,344  to 3,023,185 from 3,054,529 in April 2016.

Whilst, Airtel  Rwanda gained 57,672 prepaid subscribers on its network growing to 1,779,579 from   1,721,907 in the month of April, 2016, poaching from  rival’s subscriber base and attracting over 7000 new subscribers.

But statistics indicate that the three telecoms however gained subscribers on postpaid subscription in the  month of  May,2016  compared to April,2016 with MTN gaining 1,175  to  42,693, Tigo 4,455   to  45,833 and Airtel 106  to 1,802.

The report released this week show the country’s active mobile telephone subscription recorded an increase of 0.15 percent to 8,816,758 in the month of May, 2016 up from 8,803,801 in April this year.

Accordingly, Since January, MTN Rwanda and Tigo have been losing subscribers with MTN recording highest loss of 122,018 subscribers between January and May while Tigo lost 37,257 but Airtel gained 174,262 in the same period.

Experts attribute the loss of MTN and Tigo and the gain by Airtel to promotions and campaigns, which they say have been behind the stiff competition in the sector since 2012 at the entrance of Airtel.

“When you look at numbers, you see that those who had continuous promotions gained, because people are always on the lookout for new things,” Said Job Opar, a consumer behavior specialist on Tuesday.

Indeed, since last year, Airtel has managed to sustain its campaigns momentum putting a campaign on the market at least every three months and giving out millions of cash and bonus airtime compared to its rivals.

“We are obsessed with providing un-matched product and service offerings to delight our customers – providing them with truly differentiated offerings to meet their every telecom and lifestyle needs,” said Indrajeet Singh, Airtel Commercial Director.

Efforts to get a comment from MTN since February this year has been futile, with no one willing to answer calls, emails or respond tweets while we still expect Tigo’s response.


About the author

Olive Ndaka is the Junior Editor for RwandaEye. An investor and young entrepreneur, she is a quick learner and has contributed many articles for RwandaEye in Kinyarwanda.

More posts by | Visit the site of Ndaka



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