Regulator on MTN's case to improve network efficiency

Monday November 22 2021
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MTN Rwanda had been directed to fix the network problems subscribers are experiencing. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA

By Ange Iliza

Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority is carrying out an assessments on MTN Rwanda network following an outcry over poor service.

The regulator had earlier put the telco on notice, setting October 29 as the deadline to fix the network problem of face sanctions.

However Kigali residents said they are still experiencing poor network despite an ultimatum.

In response, MTN told Rwanda Today that in October alone, the telco has expanded 2G connections in 13 districts and rolled out new 2G and 3G sites in seven districts to boost connectivity.

In addition, MTN Rwanda said this year alone, it has invested $23 million in rolling out new sites, expansion of existing sites in Kigali and upcountry, and modernization of transmission and core network.

“From our assessments and customer feedback we have received, the interventions carried out have resulted in improvements of the network quality issues mentioned in the Enforcement Notice received in August of this year,"- said MTN Rwanda.


But some subscribers who spoke to Rwanda Today said the service has not improved.

“I usually reach home after work in the evening and I make sure I make all my calls before I get home because I literally can’t make a call from there. It has been like that ever since I can remember,” said Aline Giramata, a resident of Gatsata.

In the Notice, Rura stated that “The Regulatory Board hereby issues an Enforcement Notice directing MTN RWANDACELL PLC to solve all network connection issues related to poor calls connections (first attempts failures), drop calls and silent/garbled-speech calls.”

In case the deadlines are missed, the utility regulator warned that “further regulatory sanctions, including the monetary sanction, were to be applied immediately.”

Director-general of Rura Ernest Nsabimana told Rwanda Today that an assessment is ongoing if the services have improved and the results will be announced by the end of this month.

Mr Nsabimana said the regulator will decide whether a deadline extension or penalties are necessary based on the results of the assessment.

Although Rura’s statement focused on phone call networks, some members of the public have complained about poor internet.