Bboxx and MTN Rwanda Partner to Bridge Digital Divide with Affordable Smartphones Access

Bboxx and MTN Rwanda collaborate to provide affordable smartphones and internet access, bridging the digital divide.

Bboxx, a data-driven super platform, and MTN Rwandacell PLC, 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.

MTN Rwanda, in turn, will provide SIM cards, making use of its impressve 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.

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 the digital divide and deliver affordable, life-changing technology to all.

Mansoor Hamayun, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Bboxx

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.

Mapula Bodibe, CEO, MTN Rwanda

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