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Uganda - Key Statistics, Regulatory and Fixed-line Telecoms Overviews

Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Once referred to as the Pearl of Africa, then devastated by civil war, peace and economic reforms have transformed Uganda into one of the fastest and most consistently growing economies on the continent. The entry of MTN as the second national operator to compete with Uganda Telecom in all telecom services, including fixed lines and a total of six mobile networks has revolutionised the sector. At around 50%, total teledensity is still below the African average, and all market segments are experiencing strong growth. A simplified and converged licensing regime has significantly reduced barriers to market entry and increased competition, but this has also led to price wars.

Fixed-line and DSL penetration is low but has seen a renaissance recently on the back of wireless local loop (WLL) rollouts, prepaid services and an increasing demand for broadband access. The cost of international bandwidth has been reduced dramatically following the landing of the first international submarine fibre optic cables on the African east coast in 2009/10 to which landlocked Uganda is now connected via a national fibre backbone extending to its borders with neighbouring countries.

With annual GDP growth forecast to rise from currently 4% to 7% by 2015, growth prospects for Uganda’s telecoms sector are excellent.

Key developments:

Strong fixed-line growth fuelled by wireless systems;
Libyan government back in control of Uganda Telecom;
Alternative fibre link to international submarine cables to be built.

Companies covered in this report:

Uganda Telecom (UTL, LAP Green); MTN; UMEME; Seacom; Infocom (Altech); Internet Solutions.

1. Synopsis
2. Key statistics
3. Telecommunications Market
3.1 Overview of Uganda’s telecom market
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Background
4.2 Regulatory authorities
4.2.1 Uganda Communications Commission
4.2.2 National Information Technology Authority
4.3 Telecommunications Policy 1996
4.4 Uganda Communications Act 1997
4.5 Telecom sector liberalisation in Uganda
4.5.1 New competition framework 2005
4.5.2 National ICT Policy
4.5.3 Licensing prior to 2007
4.5.4 New licensing regime
4.5.5 Additional mobile networks
4.6 Interconnection
4.7 Number portability
4.8 Universal Service Fund (USF)
4.8.1 RCDF projects
4.9 Interception of Communications Bill
4.9.1 Registration of subscriber data
4.10 Cyber crime legislation
4.11 Consumer rights
4.12 Taxes
5. Fixed-line statistics
6. Fixed network operators in Uganda
6.1 Uganda Telecom
6.1.1 Privatisation
6.1.2 Network infrastructure
6.1.3 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
6.2 MTN Uganda
6.2.1 Network infrastructure and services
6.2.2 Wireless local loop (WLL)
7. National fibre backbone infrastructure
7.1 MTN and UTL
8. International infrastructure
8.1 Submarine fibre
8.2 Terrestrial fibre
8.3 Satellite, VSAT
9. Related reports
List of Tables, Charts and Exhibits
Table 1 – Country statistics – 2012
Table 2 – Fixed-line network statistics – 2012
Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2012
Table 4 – Internet statistics – 2012
Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2012
Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
Table 7 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Uganda – 1995 - 2013
Table 8 – Fibre optic cable assets in Uganda by operator – 2011
Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Uganda – 2002 - 2013
Chart 2 – Fixed/wireless access technologies market share in Uganda – December 2011
Exhibit 1 – International gateway licences fees

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