Rwanda: Tigo Closes in On Rwandatel's Stranglehold of Data Services


Rwandatel's market leadership of the data segment is under severe test from its competitors such as Tigo as the latter woos clients with free offers of Internet connectivity at its various service centres during the ongoing festive season.

Tigo officials say that the firm aims to attract and eventually retain more clientele from Rwandatel which has the largest market share of 62 percent against Tigo's 54 percent and MTN's 21 percent while Altech Stream - an ISP (internet services provider) comes next with 13 percent, according to sector regulator, Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA). The market is also gearing up for the arrival of Bharti Airtel that could see prices tumble after it was granted the green light to start operations last year.

This is a fulfillment of our commitments for customer service excellence this year amidst anticipated competition in the sector," Sandra Kaganzi, Tigo's customer operations manager said during the opening of the 11th service centre at the new KCT Towers in Kigali.

The idea behind the free Internet connection offer is seen as a way of boosting traffic to Tigo's new plans of opening additional service centres even as the country's Internet penetration increased to seven percent by September last year up from 5 percent by June the same year.

Kaganzi further told Business Times that Tigo has finalised plans to establish additional point of sales (POS) outlets countrywide this year to help its subscribers to use their Tigo-cash product to carry out transactions without necessarily carrying cash.

The central bank mid- last year launched the Rwanda Integrated Payment Processing System-RIPPS to facilitate electronic payment will usher in a new era of cashless-economy.

Dominique Nkurunziza, the customer sales and service manager at Tigo notes that the new centre at KCT Towers which will open throughout the week will help decongest other centres in the city centre.

"The service centre will be an interactive area where Tigo customers will have a hands-on experience on a variety of handsets and tablets," he said.

Emmanuel Turamye, a businessman said that Tigo initiatives to open up more centres will help its customers to access services round the clock. "With the increase in number of Tigo customers, it has been hard for us to quickly get services in other centres," he lamented.