Uganda - Telecoms Infrastructure, Operators, Regulations - Statistics and Analyses

Synopsis

Reforms within the telecom sector in Uganda have provided the country with one of the most competitive markets in the region. The entry of MTN Uganda as the second national operator to compete with Uganda Telecom in all telecom sectors revolutionised the availability and quality of services. The incumbent telco in recent years has fallen victim to corruption and mismanagement, with the result that it failed to provide the services which customers wanted and was unable to compete effectively. The main shareholder LAP Green also consistently failed to make the necessary investments in networks and infrastructure. Uganda Telecom went into receivership in early 2017, and the government reasserted control of the company. In late 2018 a majority share in the operator was sold to Teleology Holdings.

A simplified and converged licensing regime has significantly reduced barriers to market entry and increased competition, but this has also led to price wars which have dented operator revenue. Fixed-line infrastructure remains poor, with low penetration, and in consequence fixed-line broadband penetration is also low. In consequence, consumers have flocked to mobile infrastructure to provide voice and broadband services. The licencing regime has dramatically reduced internet access charges for end-users in recent years, while new licence obligations enforced in late 2018 will ensure national internet coverage during 2019.

Uganda’s mobile market has long been overcrowded, which has encouraged some market consolidation over the years (including the sale of Orange Uganda to Africell Holding in mid-2014). It has also resulted in some casualties (including K2 Telecom and Vodafone Uganda, which both struggled to compete).

The landing of international submarine fibre optic cables on the African east coast, to which landlocked Uganda is connected via a national fibre backbone extending to its borders with neighbouring countries, has considerably improved bandwidth for operators, which in turn has provided the necessary mobile backhaul to carry the growing traffic resulting from the widening reach of LTE networks.

Key developments:

  • National Broadband Infrastructure project leading to dramatic reduction in broadband access cost;
  • Government sells majority stake in Uganda Telecom to Teleology Holdings;
  • New Ministry of ICT & National Guidance formed;
  • Utility UETCL contracts ZTE to extend its fibre transmission networks;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to June 2018, operator data to Q3 2018, recent market developments.
  • Companies mentioned in this report:

Uganda Telecom (UTL, LAP Green), MTN Uganda, UMEME, SEACOM, Infocom (Altech, Liquid Telecom), Internet Solutions.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
  • 4. Telecommunications Market
    • 4.1 Historical overview
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Historical overview
    • 5.2 Regulatory authorities
      • 5.2.1 Uganda Communications Commission
      • 5.2.2 National Information Technology Authority
      • 5.2.3 Ministry of ICT
    • 5.3 Telecommunications Policy 1996
    • 5.4 Uganda Communications Act 1997
    • 5.5 Uganda Communications Act 2013
    • 5.6 Regional Communications Infrastructure Program
    • 5.7 Telecom sector liberalisation
      • 5.7.1 Licensing prior to 2007
      • 5.7.2 New licensing regime
      • 5.7.3 Additional mobile networks
    • 5.8 Interconnect
    • 5.9 Universal Service Fund (USF)
      • 5.9.1 RCDF projects
    • 5.10 Taxes
  • 6. Fixed network operators
    • 6.1 Uganda Telecom (UTL)
      • 6.1.1 Privatisation
      • 6.1.2 Network infrastructure
    • 6.2 MTN Uganda
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 7.2 Fibre infrastructure
      • 7.2.1 MTN and UTL
      • 7.2.2 National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI)
      • 7.2.3 Next Generation Networks (NGN)
      • 7.2.4 UMEME
      • 7.2.5 Google
      • 7.2.6 Facebook
      • 7.2.7 UETCL
    • 7.3 International infrastructure
      • 7.3.1 Submarine fibre
      • 7.3.2 International bandwidth
      • 7.3.3 Terrestrial fibre
      • 7.3.4 Satellite, VSAT
  • 8. Smart infrastructure
    • 8.1 Smart grids
  • 9. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities – Uganda – 2018 (e)
  • Table 2 – Historic - Telecom market revenue in Uganda – 2008- 2012
  • Table 3 – Telecom service tax revenue in Uganda – 2008 - 2018
  • Table 4 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Uganda – 1995 - 2009
  • Table 5 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Uganda – 2010- 2018
  • Table 6 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Uganda – 2010- 2018
  • Table 7 – Historic - Uganda's international internet bandwidth – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 8 – Uganda's international internet bandwidth – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 9 – Uganda's internet bandwidth per population – 2012 - 2018
  • Chart 1 – Telecom tax revenue in Uganda – 2008 - 2018
  • Chart 2 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 - 2018
  • Exhibit 1 – International gateway licences fees

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Technologies

Broadband Fixed
Companies (Major Players)
Regulations & Government Policies
Smart Infrastructure
Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)
Telecoms Infrastructure

Number of pages 26

Status Current

Last updated 7 Dec 2018
Update History

Lead Analyst: Henry Lancaster

Contributing Analysts:

Peter Lange

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