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Uganda - Mobile Market - Overview, Statistics and Forecasts


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Uganda - Mobile Market - Overview, Statistics and Forecasts

The introduction of mobile telephony has revolutionised Uganda's telecommunications industry, but with eight networks the market is now considered overcrowded. This had led to consolidation among the operators, culminating in the takeover of Warid Telecom by Bharti Airtel in 2013. Other players include regional heavyweights MTN from South Africa and France Telecom/Orange.

The intensified competition led to a price war which has accelerated subscriber growth but also reduced the average revenue per user (ARPU) and quality of service (QoS). The network operators started raising their tariffs again and are trying to find ways of generating additional revenue streams. 3G and 4G mobile broadband services as well as mobile money transfer and m-banking services are at the forefront of this development in a country where less than 20% of the population currently has internet access or holds a traditional bank account.

Key developments:

Consolidation in the overcrowded mobile sector;
Opportunities for MVNOs and tower outsourcing companies;
Three 4G (LTE) networks launched;
More than 95% of internet connections are mobile;
3G mobile broadband pricing varies widely, consolidation expected;
New regulations for SIM card registration put temporary pressure on subscriber growth.

Companies covered 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; Sure Telecom; K2 Telecom.


1. Synopsis
2. Overview of Uganda's mobile market
2.1 Mobile statistics
3. Regulatory issues
3.1 Licensing
3.2 Taxes
3.3 Tariffs
3.4 Infrastructure sharing
3.5 SIM card registration
3.6 Quality of service (QoS)
4. Major mobile operators
4.1 MTN Uganda
4.1.1 Major equity transactions
4.1.2 Network infrastructure and services
4.1.3 ARPU
4.1.4 MTN villagePhone project
4.1.5 Services in refugee camps
4.2 Bharti Airtel Uganda (formerly Zain, Celtel)
4.2.1 Major equity transactions
4.2.2 Network infrastructure
4.2.3 Services
4.2.4 ARPU
4.3 Uganda Telecom Ltd (UTL)
4.4 Warid Telecom
4.5 Orange Uganda (HiTS Telecom)
4.6 i-Tel
4.7 Smile Communications
4.8 Sure Telecom
5. Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)
5.1 K2 Telecom
6. Tariffs and price war
6.1 Per-second billing
6.2 Free calls
6.3 Flat rates
6.4 MTN Zone
6.5 Free international roaming
7. Mobile traffic
8. Mobile data services
8.1 SMS
8.2 MMS
8.3 WAP, GPRS and EDGE
8.4 BlackBerry
9. 3G and 4G mobile broadband
9.1 Mobile broadband statistics
9.2 3G, HSPA
9.3 LTE (4G)
10. Mobile money transfer, m-banking
10.1 Traditional bank charges and international remittances
10.2 Regulation
10.3 MTN Mobile Money
10.4 Airtel Money (ZAP)
10.5 M-Sente (UTL)
10.6 Other services
11. Mobile TV
12. Forecasts
12.1 Forecasts mobile market 2014; 2017
12.2 Notes on scenario forecasts
13. Related reports
Table 1 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Uganda 1996 - 2013
Table 2 MTN Uganda subscribers 2000 - 2013
Table 3 MTN Uganda ARPU 2002 - 2013
Table 4 Zain Uganda subscribers 2002 - 2012
Table 5 Zain Uganda ARPU 2006 - 2009
Table 6 Orange Uganda mobile subscribers 2009 2013
Table 7 Warid Telecom (Uganda) GPRS/EDGE pricing 2012
Table 8 Uganda Telecom GPRS/EDGE pricing 2012
Table 9 MTN Uganda Blackberry pricing 2012
Table 10 Active mobile broadband penetration in Uganda 2009 - 2012
Table 11 Uganda Telecom 3G mobile broadband pricing 2012
Table 12 Orange Uganda 3G/HSDPA mobile broadband pricing 2012
Table 13 MTN Uganda 3G/HSDPA mobile broadband pricing 2012
Table 14 Airtel Uganda HSPA+ pricing 2012
Table 15 Warid Telecom (Uganda) unlimited HSPA+ pricing 2012
Table 16 Forecast mobile subscribers in Uganda 2014; 2017
Chart 1 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Uganda 2002 - 2013
Chart 2 Telecommunications tax revenue in Uganda by tax type 2008 - 2011
Chart 3 Mobile tariffs in Uganda, on-net and off-net 2009 - 2011
Chart 4 Mobile traffic in Uganda by traffic type 2008 - 2011
Chart 5 Mobile vs. fixed internet subscriptions in Uganda 2007 - 2011
Exhibit 1 Emergency rescue scheme for Lake Victoria

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