Bboxx and MTN Rwanda partner to Connect the unconnected across Rwanda

Bboxx and MTN Rwanda partner to Connect the unconnected across Rwanda

• Bboxx and MTN Rwandacell PLC announce strategic partnership to increase smartphone access and economic empowerment in Rwanda
• Digital prosperity to be unlocked by accessible and affordable smartphones – currently only just over 20% of Rwandans have access to a smartphone despite 99.0% network coverage
• Alliance leverages MTN’s extensive network and user base and Bboxx’s innovation and affordable smartphones to promote digital connectivity

• Partnership in Rwanda marks the start of a broader ambition to citizens across Bboxx’s network to access smartphones

Tuesday 18th July 2023 – Bboxx, a data-driven super platform, and MTN Rwandacell PLC (“MTN Rwanda”), a subsidiary of MTN Group, Africa’s largest mobile network operator, have today announced a transformational new strategic partnership aimed at widening access to smartphones across Rwanda and accelerating the country’s digital agenda.

Bboxx and MTN Rwanda 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. A significant barrier to delivery of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is low smartphone penetration; despite network coverage of 99%, Rwanda’s current smartphone penetration stands at just 23.5%[1]. This initiative perfectly builds upon the Rwandan government and MTN Rwanda’s existing 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 simpler, more accessible, way to pay for their smartphones while providing a tool for financial education and helping them build credit worthiness. This will, in turn, strengthen the digital economy and fuel socio-economic development across the country.

Bboxx is offering its customers flexible repayment plans of six months or twelve months. Customers can make payments through MTN Mobile Money short code 182242#.

MTN Rwanda, in turn, will provide SIM cards, making use of its impressive 99% coverage in Rwanda[2], and will also offer a starter data pack that consists of 1GB per month for a period of three months to all customers who sign up for Bboxx Connect. The deal will also see Bboxx’s existing suite of IoT-enabled household appliances connected with telecommunications services provided by MTN Rwanda.

As a data-driven super platform, Bboxx is already impacting lives by providing affordable, innovative products, utilities, and financial services in 10 African countries including Rwanda, Kenya, Togo, DRC, and Nigeria, and provides electricity to 10% of Rwandan households through its off-grid solar home systems. The synergy between Bboxx and MTN Rwanda, the telecommunications market leader in Rwanda with almost 7 million users, creates a promising alliance set to significantly advance digital connectivity in the region.

Mansoor Hamayun, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bboxx, said:
“This partnership underscores our commitment to unlocking potential through technological innovation. 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 digital divide and deliver affordable, life-changing technology to all.”

MTN Rwanda CEO Mapula Bodibe added: “At MTN, we believe that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life and by partnering with Bboxx, we continue to make this vision a reality. This collaboration represents a significant step in bridging the digital divide by expanding access to affordable smartphones across the country. 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.”

– ENDS –

[1] https://www.mtn.co.rw/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/MTN-RWANDACELL-PLC-UNAUDITED-FINANCIAL-RESULTS-Q1-2023.pdf
[2] ibid.

About Bboxx

Bboxx is a data-driven super platform, transforming lives and unlocking potential by connecting consumers and deploying innovative products across Africa.

Bboxx is championing the economic empowerment of Africa, accelerating the transition to the digital economy and creating new markets. We have built Bboxx Pulse®, a fully integrated operating system, and combined it with an extensive on-the-ground network to connect customers with clean energy, clean cooking, smartphones, e-mobility and selected financial products – many for the first time.
We are connecting both underserved rural communities and aspiring urban ones with a highly convenient and affordable way to access life-changing solutions, through last mile logistics and data-powered innovative financing methods. We offer our services on a pay-as-you-go basis to households, businesses, and communities, enabling African consumers to unlock their potential.

We build strategic partnerships with investors, utilities providers, global companies, and governments to accelerate growth and provide a wide range of products to consumers in Africa. Our partners are seizing a massive market opportunity by plugging into Bboxx – developed through green tech and big data and designed for scale.

Following the successful acquisition of solar energy frontrunner PEG Africa in 2022, Bboxx is now positively impacting the lives of more than 3.5 million people in 10 operating markets, directly contributing to 11 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Bboxx and its group of companies is one of the largest networks in Africa, with over 4,000 staff across Africa and offices in the UK and Asia.

For more information about Bboxx, follow us on social channels LinkedIn and Twitter.

For more information please contact:
Bboxx / Impact and Influence

About MTN Rwandacell

MTN Rwandacell Plc (MTN Rwanda) is the market leader in mobile telecommunications in Rwanda. Since 1998, we have continuously invested in expanding and modernising our network and leading digital solutions for Rwanda’s progress. As the country’s No 1 network, we offer various services to subscribers, including innovative propositions such as personalised voice and data offers for individuals and corporates with a clear vision to lead the delivery of a bold, new digital world to our customers because we believe everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life.