Covid-19 pandemic may have muted the Rwandan economy but data distribution fight never stopped, it has instead intensified as many homes are looking for good deals to connect to different grids.
For 45 days all Rwandans retreated to the comfort of their homes after government imposed a total lockdown nationwide following the first case of covid-19 detected on March 14th.
Many people and companies have been thinking of fully digitising and embracing technologies compliant with the new normal.
A shift to technologies that facilitate transition to virtual forms of working moreover from homes has caused a direct proportion in demand for data but this time reliable data capable of enabling virtual video conferencing and sharing large loads of content.
Canalbox, Liquid telecom, Mango Telecom Rwanda, Rwanda Telecentre network are among companies in Rwanda involved in the distribution of data to the clients.
Of recent data price wars have intensified as distributors compete for customers.
Previously data was considered as a luxury product mainly for the elite of society. But with Covid-19 disruption, data is being considered as a basic necessity that cuts across all classes.
Peter Mutabaruka and Marius Rukundo are a pair of familiar energetic youths that walk door to door in Kigali’s zones that are woven with the Canalbox grid.
These young men are marketing executives that will surprise you with humble and convincing deals offered by Canalbox and once you agree, they take your details and leave a router at your home. You are later contacted by another technical team that comes to connect your home to the Canalbox grid in not more than 3 days.
“Our prices are very affordable and the cheapest. We are faster and reliable,” Mutabaruka and Rukundo told Taarifa on Monday as they successfully secured this deal.
According to them, first time client will fork out about Rwf65,000 which caters for both router and subscription. The monthly subscription is only Rwf25,000 for 10 Mbps- it is branded as Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) network.
In March, Group Vivendi Africa (GVA), launched CanalBox, a very High-Speed Internet connection offer for households and the corporate community in Kigali.
Instead of digging the ground for trenches, CanalBox uses a very unique form- their wires are connected to the usual electric transmission poles dotted across the city. “Some parts of Kigali are not yet covered but we are going to connect them too,” Mutabaruka noted.
Kigali is among the few six cities in Africa that are hosting Group Vivendi Africa (GVA) after; Libreville (Gabon) in 2017, in Lomé (Togo) in 2018 and then in Pointe Noire and Brazzaville (Republic of Congo) in 2019.
According to GVA, they plan, build and operate their own fibre optic network and invest in the long term, thereby fulfilling its vision for digital development and inclusion.