Uganda - Key Statistics, Regulatory and Fixed-line Telecoms Overviews
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, has revolutionised the sector. At around 50%, total teledensity is still below the African average. A simplified and converged licensing regime has significantly reduced barriers to market entry and increased competition, but this has also led to price wars.
With seven mobile networks, Uganda's mobile market is considered overcrowded. Fixed-line and DSL penetration is low but has seen a renaissance 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 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 remain stable at around 7% p.a., growth prospects for Uganda's telecoms sector are excellent.
Most fixed lines are provided using wireless or mobile systems; Fibre optic network rollouts continue; New fibre links to international submarine cables.
Companies covered in this report:
Uganda Telecom (UTL, LAP Green); MTN; UMEME; Seacom; Infocom (Altech, Liquid Telecom); Internet Solutions.