Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) announced the launch of its operation in Rwanda, expanding its footprint on the African continent to 17 countries.
While I was in Rwanda, I had to use MTN (it has a Safaricom partnership), which has the largest share of Rwanda’s mobile subscribers. MTN owns 55 percent of MTN Rwanda, which launched in 1998. It has 2.6 million subscribers, says MTN’s website.
Airtel has been struggling in Kenya, where Safaricom has the largest market share. However, I think they are doing well in Africa, with presence in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Chad, Nigeria, Congo, Syechelles, Malawi etc and now Rwanda. Check out the full list here.
In Africa, Airtel’s biggest competition is MTN. MTN is a South Africa-based multinational mobile telecommunications company, operating in many African and Middle Eastern countries. It operates in about 16 countries, including Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Ghana, Guinea, Benin etc.
Since mobile penetration in Africa still hasn’t reached saturation point, companies can still expand their basic services in addition to data and other value added services (VAS).
So I guess MTN are probably telling Airtel, bring it on!
And Airtel is definitely bringing it!