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

Synopsis

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.

Key developments:

Almost 3.7 million SIM cards still not registered by deadline; 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; regulator reports on QoS assessments; report update includes the regulator’s market data to December 2016, operator data to Q2 2017, 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 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).

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Market analysis
  • 3. Mobile statistics
    • 3.1 Mobile voice
      • 3.1.1 Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE)
    • 3.2 Mobile data
      • 3.2.1 SMS
      • 3.2.2 MMS
    • 3.3 Mobile broadband
    • 3.4 Forecasts – mobile subscribers - 2016; 2018; 2021
      • 3.4.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
  • 4. Regulatory issues
    • 4.1 Licensing
    • 4.2 Taxes
    • 4.3 One Network Area
    • 4.4 Infrastructure sharing
    • 4.5 SIM card registration
    • 4.6 Quality of service (QoS)
  • 5. Mobile infrastructure
    • 5.1 Digital networks
      • 5.1.1 3G, HSPA
      • 5.1.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
    • 5.2 Other infrastructure developments
      • 5.2.1 GPRS and EDGE
      • 5.2.2 EV-DO
      • 5.2.3 Mobile satellite
  • 6. Major mobile operators
    • 6.1 MTN Uganda
      • 6.1.1 Network infrastructure and services
      • 6.1.2 MTN villagePhone project
    • 6.2 Bharti Airtel Uganda (formerly Zain, Celtel)
      • 6.2.1 Warid Telecom
      • 6.2.2 Network infrastructure
    • 6.3 Uganda Telecom (UTL)
    • 6.4 Africell (Orange Uganda)
    • 6.5 i-Tel
    • 6.6 Smile Communications
    • 6.7 Smart Telecom, Sure Telecom
    • 6.8 Vodafone Uganda
  • 7. Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • 7.1 K2 Telecom
  • 8. Mobile content and applications
    • 8.1 m-banking/money
      • 8.1.1 MTN Mobile Money
      • 8.1.2 Airtel Money (ZAP)
      • 8.1.3 M-Sente (UTL)
      • 8.1.4 Smart Telecom
      • 8.1.5 Other services
    • 8.2 m-TV
    • 8.3 m-Health
  • 9. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Uganda – 1996 - 2009
  • Table 2 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Uganda – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 3 – Mobile traffic in Uganda by traffic type – 2008 - 2016
  • Table 4 – SMS messages sent – 2014 - 2016
  • Table 5 – Mobile internet subscribers and penetration in Uganda – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 6 – Forecast mobile subscribers in Uganda – 2018; 2020; 2022
  • Table 7 – Telecommunications tax revenue in Uganda by tax type – 2008 - 2016
  • Table 8 – MTN Uganda subscribers – 2000 - 2016
  • Table 9 – MTN Uganda financial data – 2013 – 2017
  • Table 10 – MTN Uganda ARPU – 2002 - 2017
  • Table 11 – Bharti Uganda subscribers – 2002 - 2015
  • Table 12 – Telecel mobile subscribers – 2013 - 2015
  • Table 13 – Orange Uganda mobile subscribers – 2009 – 2014
  • Table 14 – Mobile money agents and subscribers – 2013 – 2016
  • Table 15 – Mobile money transactions – 2009 – 2016
  • Chart 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Uganda – 2002 - 2018
  • Chart 2 – Mobile traffic in Uganda by traffic type – 2008 - 2016
  • Chart 3 – Telecommunications tax revenue in Uganda by tax type – 2008 - 2015

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Paul, May I congratulate you on a very successful and enjoyable afternoon with the Minister. In providing the roundtable discussions between government and industry, it highlighted the strong interest by stakeholders in Broadband and its implementation but it also presented us with other issues and opportunities that we need to address.

Dominic Schipano, CITT

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