Uganda - Mobile Infrastructure, Operators and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Synopsis

The introduction of mobile telephony has revolutionised Uganda’s telecommunications industry, but with seven networks the market is overcrowded, which has led to a price war and consolidation among the operators. However, not long after the No. 2 in the market (Bharti Airtel) took over the No.4 (Warid Telecom), a new operator (Smart Telecom) launched in March 2014. Two months later, the new No. 4 (Orange) decided to exit the market and sold to Lebanon-based Africell.

The price war has accelerated subscriber growth but also reduced the average revenue per user (ARPU) and quality of service (QoS). The network operators started raising their tariffs again and are trying to find ways of generating additional revenue streams. 3G and 4G mobile broadband services as well as mobile money transfer and m-banking services are at the forefront of this development in a country where less than 20% of the population currently has internet access or holds a traditional bank account.

Key developments:

Smile Communications contracts Ericsson for managed services; Vodafone Uganda expands LTE as part of national coverage program; Ericsson deploys its Converged Wallet platform for MTN Uganda; seventh network launches amidst consolidation in the crowded mobile sector; opportunities grow for MVNOs and tower outsourcing companies; Africell completes acquisition of Orange Uganda; LTE infrastructure expanding; mobile accounting for more than 95% of internet connections; growth returns to the market after wave of SIM card de-registrations; continuing strong growth in the number of mobile money transactions; regulator reports on QoS assessments; report update includes operator data to Q2 2015, regulator’s market data to December 2014, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

MTN Uganda (Telia); Bharti Airtel (Zain, Celtel); Uganda Telecom (UTL, LAP Green, Telecel, Orascom, Deutsche Telekom); Warid Telecom (Essar); Orange (HiTS Telecom); i-Tel; Simba Telecoms; Standard Chartered Bank; Monitise; American Tower Corporation (ATC), Eaton Towers; Smile Telecom; Smart Telecom; Sure Telecom; K2 Telecom; Africell (Lintel).

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Overview of Uganda’s mobile market
    • 2.1 Mobile statistics
  • 3. Regulatory issues
    • 3.1 Licensing
    • 3.2 Taxes
    • 3.3 Tariffs
    • 3.4 One Network Area
    • 3.5 Infrastructure sharing
    • 3.6 SIM card registration
    • 3.7 Quality of service (QoS)
  • 4. Major mobile operators
    • 4.1 MTN Uganda
      • 4.1.1 Major equity transactions
      • 4.1.2 Network infrastructure and services
      • 4.1.3 ARPU
      • 4.1.4 MTN villagePhone project
      • 4.1.5 Services in refugee camps
    • 4.2 Bharti Airtel Uganda (formerly Zain, Celtel)
      • 4.2.1 Major equity transactions
      • 4.2.2 Warid Telecom
      • 4.2.3 Network infrastructure
      • 4.2.4 Services
      • 4.2.5 ARPU
    • 4.3 Uganda Telecom (UTL)
    • 4.4 Africell (Orange Uganda)
    • 4.5 i-Tel
    • 4.6 Smile Communications
    • 4.7 Smart Telecom, Sure Telecom
    • 4.8 Vodafone Uganda
  • 5. Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)
    • 5.1 K2 Telecom
  • 6. Tariffs and price war
    • 6.1 Per-second billing
    • 6.2 Free calls
    • 6.3 Flat rates
    • 6.4 MTN Zone
    • 6.5 Free international roaming
  • 7. Mobile traffic
  • 8. Mobile data services
    • 8.1 SMS
    • 8.2 MMS
    • 8.3 WAP, GPRS and EDGE
  • 9. Mobile broadband
    • 9.1 Mobile broadband statistics
    • 9.2 3G, HSPA
    • 9.3 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
  • 10. Satellite mobile
  • 11. Mobile money transfer, m-banking
    • 11.1 Traditional bank charges and international remittances
    • 11.2 Regulation
    • 11.3 MTN Mobile Money
    • 11.4 Airtel Money (ZAP)
    • 11.5 M-Sente (UTL)
    • 11.6 Other services
  • 12. Mobile TV
    • 12.1 M-Health
  • 13. Forecasts
    • 13.1 Forecasts – mobile market 2015; 2018
    • 13.2 Notes on scenario forecasts
  • 14. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Uganda – 1996 - 2004
  • Table 2 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Uganda – 2005 - 2016
  • Table 3 – Mobile operator market share of subscribers – 2012 - 2013
  • Table 4 – Telecommunications tax revenue in Uganda by tax type – 2008 - 2014
  • Table 5 – MTN Uganda subscribers – 2000 - 2015
  • Table 6 – MTN Uganda financial data – 2013 - 2015
  • Table 7 – MTN Uganda ARPU – 2002 - 2015
  • Table 8 – Historic - Bharti Uganda subscribers – 2002 - 2013
  • Table 9 – Historic - Zain Uganda ARPU – 2006 - 2009
  • Table 10 – Orange Uganda mobile subscribers – 2009 – 2014
  • Table 11 – Mobile traffic in Uganda by traffic type – 2008 - 2015
  • Table 12 – Mobile vs. fixed internet subscriptions in Uganda – 2007 - 2014
  • Table 13 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration in Uganda – 2009 - 2015
  • Table 14 – Orange Uganda 3G/HSPA mobile broadband pricing – Dec 2014
  • Table 15 – Forecast mobile subscribers in Uganda – 2015; 2018
  • Chart 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Uganda – 2002 - 2016
  • Chart 2 – Telecommunications tax revenue in Uganda by tax type – 2008 - 2014
  • Chart 3 – Mobile traffic in Uganda by traffic type – 2008 - 2014
  • Chart 4 – Mobile vs. fixed internet subscriptions in Uganda – 2007 - 2014
  • Exhibit 1 – Emergency rescue scheme for Lake Victoria

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