Rwandatel, which is Rwanda’s third largest telecom operator, has had its license revoked over failure to meet telecommunications standards. The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA), which is the equivalents of Kenya’s CCK, gave Rwandatel notice on April 1, 2011 in accordance with the law governing telecommunication operations in Rwanda.
Rwandatel is part of Green Network and has Libya Africa Investment Portfolio (LAP) holding 80% while Social Security Fund of rwanda holds the remaining 20%. Rwandatel was a state corporation until 2007 when it was privatised with LAP emerging as the highest bidder beating even the South African Telecom giant, MTN.
According to RURA, Rwandatel will have its mobile services (GSM Voice and 3G Data) remain operational until April 8 an then the twoo services will be switched off. The clients of the operator have been asked to look for alternative operator to give them services. RURA claims that the operator has failed to meet the Service Level Agreement on Rollout, Investment and Network Quality.
LAP committed to invest USD87 million in the first year in Rwandatel with a further USD177 million spread over five years from 2007. The company has only managed to invest a paltry 40% of their commitment with the situation in Libya getting worse. Thee company also owes MTN Rwanda $3 Million and the case is before court.
Rwandatel has over 500,000 subscribers, MTN Rwanda 2.3 million and Tigo Rwanda 700,000 clients. MTN Rwanda was once forced to payoff Rwf 70 million ($145,000) forr failure to meet contractual obligations. Rwandatel wants the situation arbitrated stating that the contract states that an abritrator can solve such problems and not courts.