The Rwanda market for Information and Communication Technologies is characterized by a high evolution and demand for services across the socio-economic spread of the country. Enhancement in the use of ICT requires proper regulatory framework to create an environment that promotes public confidence and ensure stability, transparency, competition, investment, innovation, and growth in the ICT sector
RURA’s mandate, among other things, within the ICT sector is to license, monitor and enforce license obligations, manage scarce resources, advise policy makers on ICT related issues and represent Rwanda in international organizations on issues pertaining to ICT.
The ICT sector regulation in Rwanda includes: ICT Standards and Quality of Service regulation, Postal and courier services, ICT Scarce Resources Management and Monitoring, Media Regulation and Innovation and Sebersecurity.
In ICT Standards and Quality of Service regulation, RURA oversees the regulatory and standardization aspects to be observed by both consumers and network/service providers. RURA also strives to bridge the digital divide by advancing the use of ICT-based networks, services and applications, enhance security and build confidence in the use of ICT resources.
The ICT Scarce Resources Management & Monitoring deals with Frequency Spectrum management and Numbering Resource Management.
In postal and courier Regulation, the Regulator have to ensure the general improvement and equitable distribution of the postal and courier services; promote transparency, ensure fair competition and quality of service as well as protect user’s rights.
In accordance with articles 4 and 11 of Law n° 02/2013 of 08/02/2013 Regulating Media, and article 226 of Law n° 24/2016 of 18/06/2016 governing Information and Communication Technologies, RURA has the responsibility of regulating media and issuing authorization for starting new media organs.
The Department of Innovation and Cybersecurity, with the help of the ICT law, is making sure that a conducive environment and all the necessary requirements are being put in place for different ICT sectors such as Emerging Technologies, Big Data, FinTech, Internet of Things or other sectors such as E-Agriculture, E-commerce and Internet Governance. Furthermore as more disruptive applications are being introduced in the global world economy, there is a need to not only create a conducive environment for these applications, but also to define boundaries within which these applications must operate.
Rwanda Telecom market is now composed by two (2) Telecommunication Operators that include MTN Rwanda Ltd and Airtel Rwanda Ltd, four (4) Internet Service Providers (ISPs), one (1) Wholesaler Network Service Provider, two (2) Network Facility Providers and twenty-three (23) Retailer Internet Service Providers.
The active mobile-cellular telephone subscriptions are 9,040,327 which implies the mobile penetration rate1 to be 74.8. The number of internet subscriptions increased from 5,475,448 to 6,234,520 representing an increase of 13.9%.
In addition, the capacity of international bandwidth increased from 49,074 Mbps to 64,548 Mbps, which accordingly reflected an increase of 31.5%. The increase in internet subscriptions and capacity of international bandwidth is mainly attributed to the affordability of smart phone devices and flexibility of internet bundles.
In Space technologies, RURA partnered with the University of Tokyo to develop a microsatellite equipped with cameras and antennas that will be used for prediction of crops yield and collection of useful data for disaster management.
RURA in collaboration with Rwanda Investigation Bureau, Rwanda National Police and other stakeholders took measures in preventing crimes and frauds committed while using SIM Cards.
Through the Universal Access Fund, RURA provided a support of Frw 2.7 Billion for the construction of ten (10) Telecommunication sites in Akagera (4), Virunga National Parks (3) and Nyungwe Forest (3) in order to improve the coverage in National Parks.