Bboxx and MTN partner to boost smartphone access in Rwanda

A significant barrier to the delivery of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Rwanda is low smartphone penetration. Despite network coverage of 99%, the country’s current smartphone penetration stands at just 23.5%. 

Bboxx and MTN Rwandacell PLC have now announced a strategic partnership to increase smartphone access in the East African country. 

Bboxx through its pay-as-you-go smartphone service, Bboxx Connect, will give citizens in Rwanda a simpler, more accessible, way to pay for their smartphones.  The company will offer its customers who sign up for the service flexible repayment plans of six months or twelve months. Customers can make payments through MTN Mobile Money short code *182*2*4*2#.

MTN Rwanda, in turn, will provide SIM cards, making use of its impressive 99% coverage in Rwanda, 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.

“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.’’ Mansoor Hamayun, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bboxx, said. 

 “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.”

The two partners 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.

“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.” MTN Rwanda CEO Mapula Bodibe said. 

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.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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