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Uganda - Mobile Market - Overview, Statistics and Forecasts

Synopsis

The introduction of mobile telephony has revolutionised Uganda’s telecommunications industry, but with eight networks the market is now considered overcrowded. This had led to consolidation among the operators, culminating in the takeover of Warid Telecom by Bharti Airtel in 2013. Other players include regional heavyweights MTN from South Africa and France Telecom/Orange.

The intensified competition led to a price war which 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:

  • Consolidation in the overcrowded mobile sector;
  • Opportunities for MVNOs and tower outsourcing companies;
  • Three 4G (LTE) networks launched;
  • More than 95% of internet connections are mobile;
  • 3G mobile broadband pricing varies widely, consolidation expected;
  • New regulations for SIM card registration put temporary pressure on subscriber growth.

Companies covered 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; Sure Telecom; K2 Telecom.

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 Infrastructure sharing
    • 3.5 SIM card registration
    • 3.6 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 Network infrastructure
      • 4.2.3 Services
      • 4.2.4 ARPU
    • 4.3 Uganda Telecom Ltd (UTL)
    • 4.4 Warid Telecom
    • 4.5 Orange Uganda (HiTS Telecom)
    • 4.6 i-Tel
    • 4.7 Smile Communications
    • 4.8 Sure Telecom
  • 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
    • 8.4 BlackBerry
  • 9. 3G and 4G mobile broadband
    • 9.1 Mobile broadband statistics
    • 9.2 3G, HSPA
    • 9.3 LTE (4G)
  • 10. Mobile money transfer, m-banking
    • 10.1 Traditional bank charges and international remittances
    • 10.2 Regulation
    • 10.3 MTN Mobile Money
    • 10.4 Airtel Money (ZAP)
    • 10.5 M-Sente (UTL)
    • 10.6 Other services
  • 11. Mobile TV
  • 12. Forecasts
    • 12.1 Forecasts – mobile market 2014; 2017
    • 12.2 Notes on scenario forecasts
  • 13. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Uganda – 1996 - 2013
  • Table 2 – MTN Uganda subscribers – 2000 - 2013
  • Table 3 – MTN Uganda ARPU – 2002 - 2013
  • Table 4 – Zain Uganda subscribers – 2002 - 2012
  • Table 5 – Zain Uganda ARPU – 2006 - 2009
  • Table 6 – Orange Uganda mobile subscribers – 2009 – 2013
  • Table 7 – Warid Telecom (Uganda) GPRS/EDGE pricing – 2012
  • Table 8 – Uganda Telecom GPRS/EDGE pricing – 2012
  • Table 9 – MTN Uganda Blackberry pricing – 2012
  • Table 10 – Active mobile broadband penetration in Uganda – 2009 - 2012
  • Table 11 – Uganda Telecom 3G mobile broadband pricing – 2012
  • Table 12 – Orange Uganda 3G/HSDPA mobile broadband pricing – 2012
  • Table 13 – MTN Uganda 3G/HSDPA mobile broadband pricing – 2012
  • Table 14 – Airtel Uganda HSPA+ pricing – 2012
  • Table 15 – Warid Telecom (Uganda) unlimited HSPA+ pricing – 2012
  • Table 16 – Forecast mobile subscribers in Uganda – 2014; 2017
  • Chart 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Uganda – 2002 - 2013
  • Chart 2 – Telecommunications tax revenue in Uganda by tax type – 2008 - 2011
  • Chart 3 – Mobile tariffs in Uganda, on-net and off-net – 2009 - 2011
  • Chart 4 – Mobile traffic in Uganda by traffic type – 2008 - 2011
  • Chart 5 – Mobile vs. fixed internet subscriptions in Uganda – 2007 - 2011
  • Exhibit 1 – Emergency rescue scheme for Lake Victoria

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