Uganda - Mobile Infrastructure, Operators and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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

Uganda - Mobile Infrastructure, Operators and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Mobile voice and data services have had a profound effect on Uganda's telecommunications market, particularly given the poor condition of fixed-line infrastructure. This has meant that mobile networks carry most voice traffic and account for the vast majority of internet connections. With recent investment in LTE technologies mobile broadband services have improved, while greater internet bandwidth through international cables has also reduced the cost of backhaul and so also of mobile services. The market is overcrowded, with several networks in contention, and there is room for further consolidation among operators. In recent years Bharti Airtel took over Warid Telecom and Smart Telecom entered the market, while Orange Uganda decided to exit the market, selling to Lebanon-based Africell Holdings. Orange Uganda completed its rebranding as Africell in February 2015.

Competition encouraged a price war which accelerated subscriber growth but also reduced ARPU for operators, as well as quality of service. The network operators compensated by raising tariffs and have looked to mobile data to generate additional revenue streams. Mobile broadband via 3G and LTE as well as mobile money transfer and m-banking services are at the forefront of this development. This has been helped by low fixed-line voice and internet penetration, and by the fact that only a fifth of the population have a traditional bank account.

Key developments:

Vodafone Uganda signs up 100,000 subscribers in its first seven months of operating; Smile Communications contracts Ericsson for managed services; Vodafone Uganda expands LTE as part of national coverage program; Ericsson deploys its Converged Wallet platform for MTN Uganda; seventh network launches amidst consolidation in the crowded mobile sector; opportunities grow for MVNOs and tower outsourcing companies; Africell completes acquisition of Orange Uganda; LTE infrastructure expanding; SIM card registration deadline again extended; continuing strong growth in the number of mobile money transactions; regulator reports on QoS assessments; report update includes the regulator's market data to March 2015, operator data to Q3 2015, 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 (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).

1. Synopsis
2. Market analysis
2.1 Tariffs and price war
2.1.1 Per-second billing
2.1.2 Free calls
2.1.3 Flat rates
2.1.4 MTN Zone
2.1.5 Free international roaming
3. Mobile statistics
3.1 Mobile traffic
3.2 Mobile data
3.2.1 SMS
3.2.2 MMS
3.3 Mobile broadband
3.4 Forecasts
3.5 Forecasts mobile subscribers - 2015; 2017; 2020
3.5.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
4. Regulatory issues
4.1 Licensing
4.2 Taxes
4.3 Tariffs
4.4 One Network Area
4.5 Infrastructure sharing
4.6 SIM card registration
4.7 Quality of service (QoS)
5. Mobile infrastructure
5.1 Digital networks
5.1.1 3G, HSPA
5.1.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
5.2 Other infrastructure developments
5.2.1 GPRS and EDGE
5.2.2 EV-DO
5.2.3 Mobile satellite
6. Major mobile operators
6.1 MTN Uganda
6.1.1 Major equity transactions
6.1.2 Network infrastructure and services
6.1.3 ARPU
6.1.4 MTN villagePhone project
6.1.5 Services in refugee camps
6.2 Bharti Airtel Uganda (formerly Zain, Celtel)
6.2.1 Major equity transactions
6.2.2 Warid Telecom
6.2.3 Network infrastructure
6.2.4 Services
6.2.5 ARPU
6.3 Uganda Telecom (UTL)
6.4 Africell (Orange Uganda)
6.5 i-Tel
6.6 Smile Communications
6.7 Smart Telecom, Sure Telecom
6.8 Vodafone Uganda
7. Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)
7.1 K2 Telecom
8. Mobile content and applications
8.1 m-banking
8.1.1 MTN Mobile Money
8.1.2 Airtel Money (ZAP)
8.1.3 M-Sente (UTL)
8.1.4 Other services
8.2 m-TV
8.3 m-Health
9. Related reports
Table 1 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Uganda 1996 - 2004
Table 2 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Uganda 2005 - 2016
Table 3 Mobile operator market share of subscribers 2012 - 2013
Table 4 Mobile traffic in Uganda by traffic type 2008 - 2015
Table 5 SMS messages sent 2009 - 2016
Table 6 Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration in Uganda 2009 - 2016
Table 7 Forecast mobile subscribers in Uganda 2015; 2017; 2020
Table 8 Telecommunications tax revenue in Uganda by tax type 2008 - 2014
Table 9 Africell 3G/HSPA mobile broadband pricing 2015
Table 10 MTN Uganda subscribers 2000 - 2015
Table 11 MTN Uganda financial data 2013 - 2015
Table 12 MTN Uganda ARPU 2002 - 2015
Table 13 Historic - Bharti Uganda subscribers 2002 - 2013
Table 14 Historic - Zain Uganda ARPU 2006 - 2009
Table 15 Orange Uganda mobile subscribers 2009 2014
Table 16 Mobile money services 2013 2015
Chart 1 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Uganda 2002 - 2016
Chart 2 Mobile traffic in Uganda by traffic type 2008 - 2015
Chart 3 Telecommunications tax revenue in Uganda by tax type 2008 - 2014
Exhibit 1 Emergency rescue scheme for Lake Victoria

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