Mobile operator MTN Rwanda is offering its subscribers access to Opera Software’s Opera Mini browser, which gives faster and cheaper access to the internet via mobile devices, as well as quick access to various websites and MTN portals.
The Opera Mini browser also allows MTN subscribers one-click access to MTN portals including CallerTunez, MTN Play, The NewTimes, Igihe, Facebook, Yahoo! and Mobile Store.
Opera Mini compresses the web by up to 90%, providing faster delivery of webpages faster and at a lower cost, to more than 3000 different types of mobile devices on the market.
Khaled Mikkawi, CEO MTN Rwanda, described Opera Mini as “a great tool that will further emphasise the dedication of MTN to facilitate the ease and growth of data usage in Rwanda and a strong affirmation of MTN’s commitment to be at the heart of the ICT revolution in Rwanda”.
Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software, added: “Clearly it [Rwanda] is a nation that is committed to growing everyone’s access to the web, and MTN is an integral part of that. Our global agreement with MTN is one that allows us to really deliver on our belief that the Internet is a basic human right.”
MTN Rwanda has close to three million subscribers, and its network covers 98% of the population. Rwanda has embraced the Internet and is also a key partner in the One Laptop per Child project.
However, fixed-line internet penetration is currently just 1%, while 40% of Rwandans have a mobile phone. This means the bulk of the country connects to the internet via a mobile device, usually a feature phone.
Some of the most visited mobile sites in Rwanda include Facebook, Google, Yahoo!, Igihe, YouTube, Wikipedia, BBC, Inyarwanda, NewTimes and Umuseke, according to MTN.
MTN Rwanda is part of South Africa’s MTN Group. Opera Software is based in Oslo, Norway.