Competition within EAC telecommunications markets

Rwanda has seen explosive growth in mobile telecommunications over the past decade. Uptake of mobile communications has grown from less than 100,000 subscribers in 2003 to more than 4 million today, with annual growth in the market in the double digits for most of the past decade.

The market for mobile telephony is currently served by two firms: MTN and Rwandatel. Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) has played a crucial role in the performance of the industry. However, there is some evidence that the market is not currently functioning as competitively and efficiently as it might.

This policy brief examines the issues of waning competition, competitive-restricting pricing, tariff regulation and regulatory interventions in the telecommunications market in Rwanda. It suggests four key policy interventions that could help to ensure that the Rwandan market continues to achieve impressive growth in penetration and consumption of mobile telecommunications.

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