Uganda - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Uganda’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the fixed-line, mobile and broadband sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure developments;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
  • Mobile subscribers and ARPU;
  • Broadband market forecasts;
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and industry issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE, 5G).

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- December 2018 (17th Edition)

Executive Summary

Ugandan government sells majority stake in Uganda Telecom

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, increased competition, and helped to reduce service costs for consumers. New licence obligations enforced in late 2018 will also 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).

Key developments:

  • National Broadband Infrastructure project leading to dramatic reduction in broadband access cost;
  • Government sells majority stake in Uganda Telecom to Teleology Holdings;
  • 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;
  • Google considers Project Look for Uganda;
  • Government commissions broadband satellite services for remote areas;
  • Regulator enforces national mobile broadband coverage obligations on mobile service licensees
  • 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, Monitise, American Tower Corporation (ATC), Eaton Towers, Smart Telecom, Sure Telecom, K2 Telecom, Africell (Lintel), UTL Online, Africa Online, Spacenet, Wateen Telecoms, Smile Telecom, Foris Telecom, Talk Telecom, Mo Telecom, Goal Technology Solutions (GTS), UMEME, MultiChoice, SEACOM, Infocom (Altech, Liquid Telecom), Internet Solutions

Table of Contents

  • 1. Key statistics
    • 1.1 Country overview
  • 2. Telecommunications market
    • 2.1 Historical overview
  • 3. Regulatory environment
    • 3.1 Historical overview
    • 3.2 Regulatory authorities
      • 3.2.1 Uganda Communications Commission
      • 3.2.2 National Information Technology Authority
      • 3.2.3 Ministry of ICT
    • 3.3 Telecommunications Policy 1996
    • 3.4 Uganda Communications Act 1997
    • 3.5 Uganda Communications Act 2013
    • 3.6 Regional Communications Infrastructure Program
    • 3.7 Telecom sector liberalisation
      • 3.7.1 Licensing prior to 2007
      • 3.7.2 New licensing regime
      • 3.7.3 Additional mobile networks
    • 3.8 Interconnect
    • 3.9 Universal Service Fund (USF)
      • 3.9.1 RCDF projects
    • 3.10 Taxes
  • 4. Fixed network operators
    • 4.1 Uganda Telecom (UTL)
      • 4.1.1 Privatisation
      • 4.1.2 Network infrastructure
    • 4.2 MTN Uganda
  • 5. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 5.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 5.2 Fibre infrastructure
      • 5.2.1 MTN and UTL
      • 5.2.2 National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI)
      • 5.2.3 Next Generation Networks (NGN)
      • 5.2.4 UMEME
      • 5.2.5 Google
      • 5.2.6 Facebook
      • 5.2.7 UETCL
    • 5.3 International infrastructure
      • 5.3.1 Submarine fibre
      • 5.3.2 International bandwidth
      • 5.3.3 Terrestrial fibre
      • 5.3.4 Satellite, VSAT
    • 5.4 Smart infrastructure
      • 5.4.1 Smart grids
  • 6. Broadband market
    • 6.1 Introduction and statistical overview
      • 6.1.1 Market analysis
      • 6.1.2 Broadband statistics
      • 6.1.3 Public Internet access locations
      • 6.1.4 Uganda Internet Exchange Point (UiXP)
    • 6.2 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
    • 6.3 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
    • 6.4 Other fixed broadband services
      • 6.4.1 Fixed wireless
  • 7. Digital economy
    • 7.1 E-commerce
    • 7.2 E-government
    • 7.3 E-health
    • 7.4 E-learning
  • 8. Mobile communications
    • 8.1 Market analysis
    • 8.2 Mobile statistics
      • 8.2.1 Mobile data
      • 8.2.2 Mobile broadband
      • 8.2.3 Forecasts – mobile subscribers - 2019; 2021; 2023
    • 8.3 Regulatory issues
      • 8.3.1 Licensing
      • 8.3.2 Taxes
      • 8.3.3 One Network Area
      • 8.3.4 Infrastructure sharing
      • 8.3.5 SIM card registration
      • 8.3.6 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • 8.3.7 Roaming
    • 8.4 Mobile infrastructure
      • 8.4.1 Digital networks
      • 8.4.2 Other infrastructure developments
    • 8.5 Major mobile operators
      • 8.5.1 MTN Uganda
      • 8.5.2 Airtel Uganda (formerly Zain, Celtel)
      • 8.5.3 Uganda Telecom (UTL)
      • 8.5.4 Africell (Orange Uganda)
      • 8.5.5 Smile Communications
      • 8.5.6 Smart Telecom, Sure Telecom
      • 8.5.7 Vodafone Uganda
    • 8.6 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
      • 8.6.1 K2 Telecom
    • 8.7 Mobile content and applications
      • 8.7.1 m-banking/money
      • 8.7.2 m-Health
      • 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
      • Table 10 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in Uganda – 1995 - 2009
      • Table 11 – Internet users and penetration rate in Uganda – 2010 - 2018
      • Table 12 – Fixed vs. mobile internet subscriptions in Uganda – 2007 - 2018
      • Table 13 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Uganda – 1996 - 2009
      • Table 14 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Uganda – 2010 - 2018
      • Table 15 – Mobile traffic in Uganda by traffic type – 2008 - 2018
      • Table 16 – SMS messages sent – 2014 - 2018
      • Table 17 – Mobile internet subscribers and penetration in Uganda – 2009 - 2018
      • Table 18 – Forecast mobile subscribers in Uganda – 2019; 2021; 2023
      • Table 19 – MTN Uganda subscribers – 2000 - 2018
      • Table 20 – MTN Uganda financial data – 2013 – 2018
      • Table 21 – MTN Uganda ARPU – 2002 - 2018
      • Table 22 – Airtel Uganda subscribers – 2002 - 2017
      • Table 23 – Telecel mobile subscribers – 2013 - 2017
      • Table 24 – Africell Uganda mobile subscribers – 2009 – 2017
      • Table 25 – Smile Uganda mobile subscribers – 2015 – 2017
      • Table 26 – Vodafone Uganda mobile subscribers – 2015 – 2017
      • Table 27 – Mobile money agents and subscribers – 2013 – 2018
      • Table 28 – Mobile money transactions – 2009 – 2018
      • Chart 1 – Telecom tax revenue in Uganda – 2008 - 2018
      • Chart 2 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 - 2018
      • Chart 3 – Internet users and penetration rate in Uganda – 2005 - 2018
      • Chart 4 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Uganda – 2005 - 2018
      • Chart 5 – Mobile traffic in Uganda by traffic type – 2008 - 2018
      • Chart 6 – MTN Uganda financial data – 2013 – 2018
      • Exhibit 1 – International gateway licences fees

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