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MTN, Bboxx partner to widen smartphone access in Rwanda

Rwanda , 18 Jul 2023

MTN has signed a partnership with Bboxx to extend digital connectivity to the 80% of Rwanda’s population who are currently living without access to the internet.

The two companies today announced the partnership aimed at widening access to smartphones across Rwanda and accelerating the country’s digital agenda.

MTN and Bboxx say digital prosperity will be unlocked by accessible and affordable smartphones - currently, only just over 20% of Rwandans have access to a smartphone despite more than 99.0% network coverage.

Bboxx and MTN Rwanda say they will leverage their combined expertise and shared vision to make essential technology more accessible for all Rwandans, helping to bridge the digital divide and provide internet access to previously unconnected communities.

Bboxx - through its data-driven platform - provides financing to individuals, businesses, and communities.

Despite network coverage of 99%, Rwanda’s current smartphone penetration stands at just 23.5%, and the two parties say this initiative builds upon the Rwandan government's goal to 'Connect Rwanda’ by ensuring that every household has access to a smartphone.

Bboxx’s pay-as-you-go smartphone service, Bboxx Connect, will give customers a more accessible way to pay for their smartphones.

MTN Rwanda, in turn, will provide SIM cards and also offer a starter data pack that consists of 1GB per month for three months to all customers who sign up for Bboxx Connect.

Mansoor Hamayun, co-founder and CEO of Bboxx, comments: “With MTN Rwanda's extensive reach, we will scale our Bboxx Connect service to enhance affordability and accessibility of smartphones for customers across Rwanda.

“This is not only an innovative business collaboration but a significant step forward in the global effort to end the digital divide and deliver affordable, life-changing technology to all.”

For MTN Rwanda CEO, Mapula Bodibe, this collaboration represents a significant step in bridging the digital divide by expanding access to affordable smartphones in the country.

She says: “Together, we are committed to creating a more connected world to enable individuals and communities to access the power of the internet and thrive in this digital age.”

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