Just when Africa’s telecoms giant was heaving sigh of relief from paying the $5.2 billion fine imposed on it by the Nigerian government for not disconnecting unregistered SIM cards, Rwanda's telecom industry regulator has fined MTN Rwanda 7 billion francs ($8.5 million) about 3.2 billion Naira for running its IT services outside the country in breach of its licence.

The regulator said in a ruling posted on its website that MTN Rwanda was hosting its IT services hub in Uganda, which it had prohibited.

"They are punished for relocating their IT services outside Rwanda, and this was deliberate," Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority Spokesman Anthony Kulamba said.

MTN Rwanda says it is the central African country's leading mobile operator, with 4 million subscribers. It is 80% owned by MTN Group while the remaining 20% is listed on the Rwanda Securities Exchange.

MTN Group said it had also received a notification about the fine.

"MTN has been engaging with the regulator on this matter over the past four months. MTN Rwanda is currently studying the official notification and will continue to engage with the regulator on this matter," it said in a statement.