Options for Setting Up Phone Service

When you come to Rwanda, you will notice two main options for setting up phone service, MTN or Airtel.  What is really the difference between the two and which is the preferred service?  What we did was ask people randomly what they use and gave you guys the answers, straight from them.

Person 1

“I use MTN for my phone, but Airtel for my data.  You know what, lately I have been using Airtel for my phone as well because they have affordable cell rates but I am so used to using MTN, I just won’t stop.  Like, MTN was the first in Rwanda and they have the most clients and you know what…I am loyal.  So I still use MTN for my phone.”

Person 2

“I use Airtel  because it is more affordable than MTN . Whenever you need enough data for a cheap price, there you have to use Airtel”.

Person 3

“MTN’s network moves so much slower than Airtel. Honestly, I use MTN for boujee reasons that everyone can think I started using my phone even before Airtel came because MTN was the first in Rwanda.”

Person 4

“Airtel is cheap and I don’t like cheap things. It’s like getting things for free and that makes me doubt it asking myself where their profit is’.

Person 5

When first moving out here, as a foreigner…it was just easy to go to the MTN center and set up the MTN sim card and everything.  From moving around and just being able to figure it out MTN seems like it’s the more popular option and being new, it meant finding information was easier.  I been here for a while now and never had a problem so I don’t have a problem with which the choice I made.

Person 6

I have MTN, when you call other people with MTN numbers it tends to be cheaper than if you call those with Airtel.  Since more people have MTN, you end up saving more per call. 

If you question getting local phone service, in our opinion it is a necessity, especially if you are trying to stay for the long haul.  While WhatsApp works well, if you are trying to call places and get information, or do transport not every Rwanda has Wifi or Data plans, yet a phone will work with local airtime and text messaging.  Also the MoMo payment system is HIGHLY supported by the government to help limit cash transactions.  MoMo is a payment system that uses your phone number as a bank account to store, spend or send money.  It makes the option to pay simple and every business and person uses it.

To learn more click HERE for MTN’s website, or click HERE for Airtel.

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