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 substantially. 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 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. Uganda Telecom fell into receivership and in late 2018 a majority stake was sold to Teleology Holdings. Two of the smaller mobile players, K2 Telecom and Vodafone Uganda, have not weathered competitive pressure. The management of K2 Telecom’s services and network has been taken over by Airtel Uganda, while Vodafone Uganda entered bankruptcy protection in February 2018.

Key developments:

  • SIM card registration leads to large drop in subscriber numbers;
  • Vodafone Uganda files for bankruptcy protection;
  • Ericsson deploys its Converged Wallet platform for MTN Uganda;
  • Opportunities grow for MVNOs and tower outsourcing companies;
  • Regulator reports on QoS assessments;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to June 2018, operator data to Q3 2018, 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 data
      • 3.1.1 SMS
      • 3.1.2 MMS
    • 3.2 Mobile broadband
    • 3.3 Forecasts – mobile subscribers - 2019; 2021; 2023
  • 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 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • 4.7 Roaming
  • 5. Mobile infrastructure
    • 5.1 Digital networks
      • 5.1.1 3G
      • 5.1.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
    • 5.2 Other infrastructure developments
      • 5.2.1 Mobile satellite
      • 5.2.2 Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT)
  • 6. Major mobile operators
    • 6.1 MTN Uganda
      • 6.1.1 Infrastructure
    • 6.2 Airtel Uganda (formerly Zain, Celtel)
      • 6.2.1 Infrastructure
      • 6.2.2 Warid Telecom
    • 6.3 Uganda Telecom (UTL)
    • 6.4 Africell (Orange Uganda)
    • 6.5 Smile Communications
    • 6.6 Smart Telecom, Sure Telecom
    • 6.7 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-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 - 2018
  • Table 4 – SMS messages sent – 2014 - 2018
  • Table 5 – Mobile internet subscribers and penetration in Uganda – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 6 – Forecast mobile subscribers in Uganda – 2019; 2021; 2023
  • Table 7 – MTN Uganda subscribers – 2000 - 2018
  • Table 8 – MTN Uganda financial data – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 9 – MTN Uganda ARPU – 2002 - 2018
  • Table 10 – Airtel Uganda subscribers – 2002 - 2017
  • Table 11 – Telecel mobile subscribers – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 12 – Africell Uganda mobile subscribers – 2009 – 2017
  • Table 13 – Smile Uganda mobile subscribers – 2015 – 2017
  • Table 14 – Vodafone Uganda mobile subscribers – 2015 – 2017
  • Table 15 – Mobile money agents and subscribers – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 16 – Mobile money transactions – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Uganda – 2005 - 2018
  • Chart 2 – Mobile traffic in Uganda by traffic type – 2008 - 2018
  • Chart 3 – MTN Uganda financial data – 2013 – 2018

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