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How Ericsson’s analytics and services contributed to MTN becoming the biggest network in Rwanda

MTN has increased its market share in Rwanda from 11% in the first half of 2018, to 54% at the end of the first half of 2019, the latest Ericsson Mobility Report reveals.

Ericsson has released a special edition of its regular Mobility Report, highlighting the effects over the past year of MTN’s implementation of the Ericsson Customer Experience Programme (ECEP).

“The ECEP is a proactive approach to improving customer experience by focusing on network performance improvements in operator 2G, 3G and LTE networks,” Ericsson said.

During 2018 and 2019, MTN ran the programme in eight of the 21 countries in Africa where it operates networks: Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Rwanda, and South Africa.

Ericsson said that the programme has two major objectives:

  1. Provide operators with recommendations of where to spend money on their networks (CAPEX), based on a factual network evolution proposal that is aligned with the operator’s budget cycle.
  2. Provide insights and recommendations to improve on customer experience and network performance.

One of the things they can help operators measure and analyse, Ericsson said, is how subscribers are using the network and what the capabilities of their phones are.

This helps operators ensure that subscribers are getting the most out of their phones and are using the right network technology.

“If someone has an LTE capable handset, they should be on the LTE data network, not 3G,” Ericsson said.

There were two major reasons a subscriber would own an LTE-capable device, but not be using the technology, MTN found: older handsets came with LTE switched off by default, and people believe that LTE consumes data faster.

MTN said that, armed with the data from Ericsson’s tools, its marketing and sales department conducted direct campaigns with subscribers. It also launched an education drive to end-users.

Big customer experience improvement

Rwanda has a single 4G wholesale network with national roaming, so MTN’s focus during the ECEP was to extend and improve its 3G network.

“The better the user experience, the more a user will use the network. If the video experience is a good experience, users start using it more often,” said MTN.

MTN expanded its 3G network using radio frequency spectrum it has in the 900MHz band, which improved coverage, increased speeds across the country, and allowed for future data traffic growth.

Over the course of the year, MTN saw significant improvements in 3G data speeds, and call success rates. It also reduced the number of dropped calls on its 3G network.

In addition to its substantial increase in market share, MTN grew the number of subscribers on its network by 23% and saw revenue growth of 27%.

As a result of the improved network performance, MTN also saw a large increase in customer satisfaction.

MTN’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) in Rwanda improved from 2% in the first and second quarters of 2018, to 18% at the end of the first quarter in 2019. By the end of the first quarter of 2019, MTN was the operator with the highest NPS in Rwanda.

Ericsson and MTN were jointly awarded the “Delivering Excellence in Customer Experience Award” at AfricaCom 2019 in Cape Town for the roll-out of the Ericsson Customer Experience Programme.

The full version of the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, with a special focus on Africa, is available upon request.

This article was published in partnership with Ericsson.

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How Ericsson’s analytics and services contributed to MTN becoming the biggest network in Rwanda