In common with other countries in the region, mobile voice and data services have had a profound effect on Uganda’s telecommunications market, particularly given the poor condition of fixed-line infrastructure. This has meant that mobile networks carry most voice traffic and account for the vast majority of internet connections. With recent investment in LTE technologies, the reach and capabilities of mobile broadband services have increased measurably. This has led to a range of social benefits, including the ability of individuals to make use of banking and a range of m-commerce services. Greater internet bandwidth through international cables has also reduced the cost of mobile backhaul, and consequently the end-user cost of such services has fallen steadily. The market remains s overcrowded, with several networks in contention, and there is room for further consolidation among operators. In recent years Bharti Airtel took over Warid Telecom and Smart Telecom entered the market, while Orange Uganda decided to exit the market, selling to Lebanon-based Africell Holding. Orange Uganda completed its rebranding as Africell in February 2015.
Competition encouraged a price war which accelerated subscriber growth but also reduced ARPU for operators, as well as quality of service. The network operators compensated by raising tariffs and have looked to mobile data to generate additional revenue streams.
Smile Communications launches commercial VoLTE service; Smile Communications contracts Ericsson for managed services, launches Smart Pesa m-money service; Vodafone Uganda expands LTE as part of national coverage program; Ericsson deploys its Converged Wallet platform for MTN Uganda; opportunities grow for MVNOs and tower outsourcing companies; Africell completes acquisition of Orange Uganda; LTE infrastructure expanding; SIM card registration deadline again extended; regulator reports on QoS assessments; report update includes the regulator’s market data to March 2016, operator data to Q2 2016, recent market developments.
MTN Uganda (Telia), Bharti Airtel (Zain, Celtel), Uganda Telecom (UTL, LAP Green, Telecel, Orascom, Deutsche Telekom), Warid Telecom (Essar), Orange Uganda (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).
Companies (Major Players)
Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media
Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure)
Regulations & Government Policies
Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)
Number of pages 35
Last updated 28 Sep 2016
Analyst: Henry Lancaster
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