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Rwanda: MTN partners with Bboxx to accelerate smartphone adoption

Saturday, 22 July 2023 16:58
Rwanda: MTN partners with Bboxx to accelerate smartphone adoption

(Ecofin Agency) - MTN is taking multiple initiatives to boost its market share in Rwanda, where mobile penetration stands at 87.4% according to official statistics. In November 2022, the company launched a mobile device financing program in partnership with the Bank of Kigali.

Mobile operator MTN Rwandacell PLC (MTN Rwanda) recently signed a cooperation agreement with data platform Bboxx to accelerate smartphone adoption in Rwanda. Per the agreement, Bboxx will offer Rwandans a simpler and more accessible way to pay for smartphones, with repayment plans spanning six or twelve months. In return, MTN Rwanda will provide subscribers with SIM cards.

This partnership aligns with the common ambition of the Rwandan government and MTN Rwanda to "connect Rwanda" by ensuring every household has access to a smartphone. The telecom operator had already introduced a smartphone and tablet financing program in November 2022, in collaboration with the Bank of Kigali (BK).

These initiatives come at a time when smartphones remain unaffordable for the majority of African consumers. The Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) reports that only 49% of the 515 million unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa use smartphones. Additionally, MTN estimates that about 75% of the population does not own smartphones.

"At MTN, we believe that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life and by partnering with Bboxx, we continue to make this vision a reality. This collaboration represents a significant step in bridging the digital divide by expanding access to affordable smartphones across the country. Together, we are committed to creating a more connected world to enable individuals and communities to access the power of the internet and thrive in this digital age," Mapula Bodibe, CEO of MTN Rwanda, said.

The project aims to help MTN attract new subscribers and enhance its position in the Rwandan telecom market. Currently, MTN holds a 61.9% market share, while Airtel has 38.1%, according to Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) statistics. This growth will drive increased demand for high-speed connectivity, leading to a boost in MTN Rwanda's revenues.

Isaac K. Kassouwi



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ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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