Wholesale Internet service provider Olleh Rwanda Networks (ORN) cut prices for 4G Internet access by 30% last week. The objective is to facilitate the access of the greatest number of Rwandans to very high speed.
This reduction in prices on the 4G Internet comes after that of February 11, 2015. This time, Olleh Rwanda Networks had reduced Internet access prices by 70%, all technology combined. Han-Sung Yoon (photo), CEO of Olleh Rwanda Networks, said the new price reduction on 4G stems from relentless public advocacy for more affordable broadband access.
While Rwandan consumers are delighted with this new price reduction, this is not the case for all Internet service providers (ISPs). Indeed, of the 17 ISPs in the country, only 7 have reviewed their rates, reports the site theeastafrican.co.ke. The 10 ISPs reluctant to this new drop in costs believe that it will reduce their earnings while increasing their expenses. Claudine Mukabugura, the sales director at Piramie Inc, agrees with this and explains: “We incur a high operating cost: we already do marketing, pay wages, taxes, rent, sales … and all these costs will be reduced from the retail price. “
Responding to ISP complaints, Hang-Sung Yoon said Olleh Rwanda Networks is also affected by the increased charges. “We are investing in equipment, labor, maintenance and depreciation. Yes the retailers incur an increase in charges but their profit margin is 60% compared to our price, which is very high, “said the general manager of the wholesale ISP.
Olleh Rwanda Networks has promised the Rwandan government to bring very high speed to 95% of the population by the end of 2017. In 2015, the company reveals that it has been able to deploy very high speed to 32% of the population, that is 27 districts. This year, it plans to increase the deployment of 4G LTE to 62% of the population.