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 newly enacted 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.
The ICT sector in Rwanda recorded a general growth in terms of subscriptions, revenues and investments since its liberalization in Rwanda.The licensing of a third telecom operator (Bharti AIRTEL) in September 8th 2011 has brought about more competition in the sector as well as more and more affordable telecom services in Rwanda.
The Rwandan market in telecommunications is composed by three main telecom operators, six Internet Service Providers (ISPs), one Wholesale Network Service provider, two Network facility providers and fourteen Retailers Internet Service Providers by June 2017.
With three major operators in mobile telephony which are MTN RwandaLtd, TIGO Rwanda Ltd and AIRTEL Rwanda Ltd, the penetration rate continued to grow while the fixed telephony provided by RWANDATEL growth remained almost stagnant.