This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Uganda’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors. Subjects include:
Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- October 2016 (15th Edition)
Uganda’s buoyant economy has seen consistent growth in recent years, which is anticipated to remain above 5% into 2017. This has had positive effects on the telecoms sector, which has also benefited from a host of reforms aimed at developing one of the most competitive markets in the region. The entry of MTN as the second national operator to compete with Uganda Telecom in all telecom sectors revolutionised the availability of services. To a large extent the incumbent has been left behind, as it suffers from high debt, insufficient assets, poor quality of service, and an inefficient management culture which has led to the appointment of three Managing Directors in as many years.
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 placed greater strain on operators. Fixed-line infrastructure remains poor, with low penetration, and in consequence fixed-line broadband penetration is also low. As a result, consumers have flocked to mobile infrastructure to provide voice and broadband services: the mobile networks account for the vast majority of all internet accesses.
With seven mobile networks, Uganda’s mobile market is overcrowded. Orange Group exited the market in mid-2014 when it sold its assets to Africell Holding. The cost of international bandwidth has fallen dramatically following 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 adjacent countries. This has helped reduce the previously exorbitant cost of broadband and provided the necessary backhaul to carry the growing traffic which has resulted from the widening reach of LTE networks.
In common with other countries in the region, mobile voice and data services have had a profound effect on Uganda’s telecom market, particularly given the poor condition of fixed-line infrastructure. 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.
Uganda was one of the first countries in sub-Saharan Africa to be connected to the internet. Although the initial connections to fibre cables caused prices for bandwidth to fall to a fraction of their former cost, retail pricing of services remains relatively expensive, especially when considering purchasing power parity.
Companies mentioned in this report:
Uganda Telecom (UT, LAP Green), MTN Uganda, UMEME, SEACOM, Infocom (Altech, Liquid Telecom), Internet Solutions, Bharti Airtel (Zain, Celtel), 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), UTL Online, Africa Online, Spacenet, Foris Telecom, Talk Telecom, Mo Telecom, Goal Technology Solutions (GTS), UMEME, WBS Television, NTV Uganda, MultiChoice, Gotv, Jump TV, Zuku TV (Wananchi).
Companies (Major Players)
Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media
Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure)
Regulations & Government Policies
Number of pages 81
Last updated 5 Oct 2016
Analyst: Henry Lancaster
We wanted to extend our Com World Series of telecoms industry events to the South Pacific region and we were in urgent need of a partner in the region who could assist us with confirming the involvement of governments, telcos and more. Paul Budde and his team executed this perfectly. Paul also provided us with very high quality reports on every aspect of the project, including an amazingly thorough and actionable report on the conference presentations and discussion.
Joe Willcox, Commercial Content Director, Emap Connect, Emap
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