Tigo, Airtel subscriber base grows as MTN sheds off numbers

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Tigo, Airtel subscriber base grows as MTN sheds off numbers

Both Tigo -Rwanda and Airtel have recorded an increase in their subscriber base in the month of February, according to statistics from the sector regulator- Rwanda Utilities regulatory Authority-RURA.

Tigo – Rwanda recorded an increase  to 3,076,159 subscribers n February up from 3,060,442 an increase of 15,717 subscribers with its voice market  share growing to 42.72 percent while Airtel Rwanda recorded 1,626,217 in the month of February up from 1,605,317 in January 2016.

MTN Rwanda, the sector’s number one by subscriber base lost 57,183 in February, 2016 from the 4,045,684 subscribers it recorded in January 2016.

“Though the past year has been a challenging one for the telecom business, our digital services are growing in popularity, we are outperforming the market in both subscriber and revenue growth,” said Tongai Maramba, general manager, Tigo Rwanda on Tuesday.

This comes at the time the sector is facing a tight competition since the second quarter of 2015 that saw operators opting for mega promotions as well as innovative products to keep the customers on their network.

“To keep the clients smiling a mid this competition, the operators had to think out of the box and go beyond just advertisement in media. So you take a step ahead, you gain in terms of numbers, you don’t and lose customers,” said Job Opar, a consumer and fair competition expert.

For example, Tigo pumped in millions of money in its Tigo Bonane promotion in the fourth quarter of 2015 which saw which grew its subscriber base from 3,027,009 subscribers in December, 2015 to 3,060,442 subscribers in January, 2016.

Maramba noted “Our commitment to Rwanda has seen us invest over $390m in Rwanda in just 5 years of being here.”

Airtel as well launched its Nikirenga promotion that gave out millions in cash and holiday bonuses thus pulling more subscribers to its network which increased by 28,104 to 1,605,317 subscribers in January, 2016.

“This growth goes a long way with our commitment of providing better services to the people of Rwanda,” said said Micheal Adjei, Managing Director of Airtel Rwanda.

Whilst, MTN was not able to bring out a promotion which gave the rivals a chance to dig into its subscriber base and poach out subscribers. However efforts to reach the MTN group Subsidiary was futile as one was able to give a comment by press time.

Despite the growth in the two operators, the regulator noted a reduction in active mobile telephone subscriptions in the month of February declining by 0.21 percent to 8,769,606 by end of February to 8,787,900 in January- 2016.

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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.

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