ICT FAQs

What are Telecommunication Operators in Rwanda and what kind of technologies they utilize?

  •  MTN-Rwanda
Technologies: GSM for Mobile cellular and Fixed on GSM Platform,GPRS; EDGE (Mobile and data communication); WCDMA (Mobile and data communication in cities); WIMAX (Data communication); SDH (Transmission on Fiber and Microwave); DWDM (Transmission on Fiber); PDH (Transmission on Microwave) and  4G LTE.
  • TIGO RWANDA
Technologies: GSM for mobile Cellular and fixed on GSM Platform, GPRS; EDGE (Mobile and data communication); WCDMA (Mobile and data communication); SDH (Transmission on Microwave); PDH (Transmission on Microwave) and  4G LTE
  • AIRTEL RWANDA
Technologies: GSM for mobile Cellular and fixed on GSM Platform, GPRS; EDGE (Mobile and data communication); WCDMA (Mobile and data communication); SDH (Transmission on Microwave); PDH (Transmission on Microwave) and  4G LTE.
  • Korea Telecom-Rwanda:
Technologies: 4G LTE wholesale

What are the requirements to operate in telecommunications Sector in Rwanda?

Technical capacity to operate a national telecoms network.
Capital to roll-out the network.
Readiness to meet sectoral requirements as spelt out in the National Broadband Policy and in the ICT law. 

What does Type approval stand for?

Type Approval Stands for acceptance tests carried out on the imported electronic communication equipment to ascertain that it meets pre-set specifications. The specifications are such that they are for human safety and also not injurious to the existing networks.
It is a process of granting a certificate to a product that meets a minimum set of regulatory, technical and safety requirements. Generally, type approval is required before a product is allowed to be imported or sold in Rwanda.

Which Electronic communication equipment is subject to type approval before importation?

Telecommunications, all electronic communication equipment that are to be installed and utilized within the Republic of Rwanda, all are subject to type approval.

How to get type approval in Rwanda?

By applying to the Director-General, Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), and providing all the relevant literature about the equipment, including any of the type-approvals for the same equipment from other Regulatory Authorities, test reports from the accredited laboratory, the technical specifications of the equipment, the application form uploaded on RURA website, one sample in case of mobile phones and tablets with 4G and 3G features.

Lead time to obtain type approval

The lead time to obtain type approval is 3 working days

What is Nation Frequency Allocation Table?

It is a table indicating the use of the various frequency bands by the various radiocommunication services within the Republic of Rwanda. The table is updated from time to time to reflect the decisions of World Radiocommunications Conferences (WRC).

What is mobile number portability?

Number portability is the system that allows customers of mobile telecommunication services to retain their telephone numbers when switching between operators. 

Is Mobile number portability possible in Rwanda Telecommunication Network?

Yes, Mobile Number portability is possible in Rwanda and it is one of the ways to enhance competition in telecommunication industry. A study is being conducted to check the readiness of the market for introduction of mobile Number Portability in Rwanda.

How to get a short code usage authorization?

The requirements to get a short code authorization are found on the following click here

Is the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) regulated in Rwanda?

The current situation is that VoIP is not yet regulated in Rwanda. The current licenses allow Telecom Operators to use and offer VoIP services as their licenses are all-encompassing. However, the legalization of VoIP by the regulator is at the preliminary stage. As technology is a dynamic, the regulator will decide whether to regulate VoIP separately or not.

What are the telecommunication regulations in Rwanda in relation to VoIP?

As we said that VOIP is not yet regulated; Fundamental changes have occurred in the sector with technological innovation, convergence of services and increased competition. This profound change may be calling today a new re-regulation, in order to open a greater number of market segments to competition and to update the methods and practices of licensing and spectrum management, while facilitating the growth of broadband networks and services resulting from convergence. With increasing competition and the entry of new competing service providers, it will also need to consider more closely the issue of settlement of disputes.

How to be connected to the Fiber Optic?

       • To connect to the fiber, you have to contact the Internet Service provider (ISP) if you are a user;        •  Contact the fiber infrastructure owner if you are an Internet Service Provider (ISP).   Any special request different from the above should be assessed by RURA before further action.

What is spectrum?

"Spectrum" refers to the range of frequencies over which electromagnetic signals can be transmitted.  That includes radio, television, wireless Internet connectivity, remote control, and every other communication enabled by radio waves.

Who uses spectrum?

Everyone who uses a technology that connects without wires. That includes radios, TVs, planes with radar, portable phones, etc.

What's the current spectrum policy?

RURA has implemented a system where parts of the spectrum are allocated on either an exclusive or shared basis. If 'exclusive', then the right to use this spectrum is conveyed by a license. The terms of this license give its holder the right to use this block of spectrum for the term of the license. If 'shared', then access to the spectrum is shared by many users, who are either given a license, or who use equipment to access that spectrum which has been certified by RURA. 

Are any devices exempt from the requirement to obtain a Radio Frequency License?

Yes, the following devices do not require a RF License: 
                    - Short range devices,
                    - Industrial Scientific and Medical (ISM) applications

What should I do before using a transmitting device?

Except for the cases mentioned in section above, a Radio Frequency License must be issued by RURA prior to the operation of any communications or electronic equipment that intentionally radiates or re-radiates radio frequency signals. Licenses are obtained by completing a Request form and submitting it to RURA. 

Where can I get a Radio Frequency License Request form?

 Forms and requirements can be found at http://www.rura.rw

Someone is interfering with me. What do I do?

a. Thoroughly check the affected equipment to ensure that the RFI is not being generated internally or onsite and that the equipment is operating properly. 
b. Fill out the form available on RURA website at the following link http://www.rura.rw/interferencecomplaint/

How the general public is protected from overexposure to radiofrequency (RF) energy?

Yearly countrywide measurements of Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) level to ensure compliance with international standards of EMF exposure limits provided by International Commission on Non?Ionizing Radiation Protection guidelines (ICNIRP-1998).
In addition to that, occasional measurements are effected when there is complaint from the public residing in the vicinity of communication towers or when there is an installation of a new communication tower.

What amount of radiofrequency (RF) exposure is considered safe?

Rwanda abides by EMF exposure limits provided by International Commission on Non?Ionizing Radiation Protection guidelines (ICNIRP-1998). 

How were the radiofrequency (RF) exposure limits established?

Refer to the International Commission on Non?Ionizing Radiation Protection guidelines (ICNIRP-1998) which can be found on the following link: http://www.icnirp.org/cms/upload/publications/ICNIRPemfgdl.pdf

Are multiple antenna towers and broadcast antennas safe?

Yes, before and after installation of towers and antennas, a survey is conducted by RURA engineers to ensure protection of the environment and people living in the vicinity. 

Who inspects or audits radio communication and broadcasting installations to ensure compliance with regulatory limits?

RURA engineers responsible for Spectrum management and infrastructure development.

In which ways does RURA regulate the Media industry in Rwanda?

The law N°09/2013 of 01 March 2013 establishing RURA and determining its mission, powers, organization and functioning requires RURA to regulate media especially in article 2. The ICT law  and  Media law, RURA is shaped to be well positioned to contribute to effectively respond to the country’s all regulatory matters regarding media.

Do I need license to start a television channel or FM radio?

Yes, before you establish a TV channel or FM radio you will need to apply for broadcasting service license issued by Regulatory Authority.

How long does it take to get broadcasting service license?

 If the applicant fulfills the requirements, the license is issued in thirty (30) days from the date of application.

What are the requirements to get license for broadcasting services?

There is a number of requirements to license someone for providing broadcasting services, namely:   
1) Application letter addressed to the Director General, the letter shall at least indicate:
a) a statement describing the required license and a brief on editorial line;
b)  the office location and full address;
2) To fill an application form obtained from the Regulatory Authority ’s website; 
3) Copy of Rwandan ID or Passport for contact person;
4) Detailed CV of Managing Director and Chief Editor;
5) Criminal record of the Managing Director and Chief Editor;
6) Applicant’s financial and technical capacity to carry out broadcasting services;
7) Company profile including brief on editorial line; 
8)     Company certificate specifying that provision of Broadcasting services is one of the businesses to carry out;
9)  Proof of payment for application fee;
10)  Detailed plan and technical specifications for Studio for TV broadcasting services; 
11)  Any other information deemed necessary by the Regulatory Authority for decision making.

What are the types of licenses under broadcasting services?

In broadcasting services, you can apply either for FM radio or TV broadcasting services. The following are the different types of the licenses:
1. License for public radio broadcasting 
2. License for private radio broadcasting
3. License for free to air TV services
4. License for subscription TV services  

In which ways does RURA regulate the Postal and Courier Services in Rwanda?

Pursuant to the Law nº 09/2013 of 01/03/2013 establishing Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) and determining its mission, powers, organisation and functioning, in its article 2 specifies that Postal Sector is among the sectors to be regulated by RURA. 
Pursuant to the regulations governing postal and courier services in Rwanda adopted by the Regulatory Board on 4th April 2015;

Do I need license to start Postal or Courier Services Company?

Yes, you need to apply for license issued by Regulatory Authority prior commencement of postal or courier services in Rwanda.

How long does it take to get Postal or Courier services license?

If the Regulatory Authority determines that the license application is complete, it shall grant a license within a period not exceeding  thirty (30 ) days. The  thirty  (30 ) days period does not include time for applicant to respond or to request for additional information. 

What are the requirements to get Postal or Courier services license?

Any person who intends to apply for postal or courier services license shall submit to the Regulatory Authority the following documents: 
a) An application letter addressed to the Director General of RURA;
b) An application form well filled by the applicant;
c) Domestic registration certificate issued by Rwanda Development Board specifying that postal or courier services are among the businesses to carry out;
d) The legal status of the applicant;
e) The zone of operation for which the applicant requests for a license;
f) Business plan for a period of five (5) years;
g) A copy of National Identity Cards (ID) or Passport for the managing director;
h) Proof of the payment of the prescribed non-refundable application fee;
i) List or number of all other Rwanda or foreign licenses held by the applicant pertaining to the Postal or courier services if any; 
j) Justification of full ownership of the premises in the names of the company or the rental agreement;
k) Insurance policy;
l) Plan of quality of service standards
m) Fire protection measures;
n) Any other information deemed necessary by the Authority.

What are the types of licenses under Postal or Courier services?

The  Regulatory Authority  grants  the following  types of licenses:  
a) Public postal Operator License;
b) International   courier License;
c) Regional courier License;
d) Domestic courier License;
e) International in-bound courier License;
f) Intra-city courier License;
A postal or courier licensee for a given category has the right to perform activities which are in a lower category of license in descending order by types of license. 

Where can I get Postal and Courier services regulations and a form Request License

Postal and Courier services regulations and a form Request License Forms can be found at http://www.rura.rw