Rwanda mulls issue of one more telecoms license

The Rwandan Government is known to be trying to figure out how to offer one more telecoms license so as to take the place of the vacant spot left behind as a result of Rwandatel’s mobile license being revoked, in addition to the court ruling the sell-off of the assets belonging to the company and then settle contentions with creditors.

Rwansatel’s license was revoked back in April this year following the company’s failure to meet license obligations with regard to investment plan, coverage, rollout plans, in addition to quality of services.

The Registrar General of Companies on behalf of the government had also filed a case in a bid to liquidate the company in the wake of its liabilities exceeding the assets value. The Court of Nyarugenge, Kigali City, recently ruled in favor of the government and the company is all set for liquidation which means that the Government will have to wait until Rwandatel assets are sold prior to issuing another license to the company, or a new license issued.

According to Information communication Technology (ICT) Minister in the Office of the President Mr. Ignace Gatare, a technical team is working on the terms based on which the license would be issued.

At present, MTN Rwanda and Tigo Rwanda happen to be the only telcos that offer mobile communications services. According to sources, the two operators witnessed a 3.7 million mobile subscribers growth in May, representing a penetration level of 36%. On the other hand, the revocation of Rwandatel license, in addition to the court order for liquidating the company’s assets has raised questions over the independence and capacity of Rwanda’s Telecoms regulator.

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