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Uganda - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

Uganda - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

Uganda regulator losing patience with Uganda Telecom mismanagement

In recent years reforms have transformed Uganda’s economy, establishing consistent growth which is anticipated to remain above 6% into 2016. Reforms within the telecom sector have also established one of the most competitive markets in the region. The entry of MTN as the second national operator to compete with Uganda Telecom in all telecom sectors revolutionised the availability and quality of services. To a large extent the incumbent has been left behind, as it suffers from high debt, insufficient assets, poor quality of service, and an inefficient management culture which has led to the appointment of three Managing Directors in as many years.

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 infrastructure remains poor, with low penetration, and in consequence fixed-line broadband penetration is also low. As a result, consumers have flocked to mobile infrastructure to provide voice and broadband services.

With seven mobile networks, Uganda’s mobile market is overcrowded. Some market movement during the last two years has resulted in consolidation, while Orange exited the market in mid-2014 when it sold its assets to Africell holding. The cost of international bandwidth has fallen dramatically following the landing of 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. This has helped reduce the previously exorbitant cost of broadband and provided the necessary backhaul to carry the growing traffic which has resulted from the widening reach of LTE networks.

Uganda was one of the first countries in sub-Saharan Africa to be connected to the internet. Being landlocked, the country depended entirely on satellites for its international connectivity until 2009 when several international submarine fibre optic cables landed on the African east coast. Uganda is now connected via a national fibre backbone extending to its borders, implemented by Uganda Telecom and MTN Uganda. Since the initial connections to fibre cables in 2009 prices for international bandwidth have fallen to a fraction of their original cost, but retail pricing of broadband services is still relatively expensive, especially when considering purchasing power parity. However, wireless and mobile technologies such as WiMAX, EV-DO and LTE are now putting the internet within reach of a much greater proportion of the population than traditional fixed-line DSL services have in the past. These improvements in infrastructure are revolutionising the market and enabling converged voice, data and digital media services.

Key developments:

Phase 2 of the migration to digital broadcasting completed;
Liquid Telecom announces a UGX2 billion investment in Infocom’s broadband infrastructure;
97% of all internet subscriptions are mobile;
Vodafone Uganda signs up 100,000 subscribers within seven months of launching services;
Orange Uganda completes rebrand to Africell Uganda;
Regulator threatens to revoke Uganda Telecom licenses for failing to address debt and pay bills;
Ericsson deploys its Converged Wallet platform for MTN Uganda;
Opportunities grow for MVNOs and tower outsourcing companies;
SIM card registration deadline again extended;
Report updates include the regulator’s market data updates to March 2015, telcos’ operational and financial data to Q3 2015, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Uganda Telecom, LAP Green, MTN, UMEME, SEACOM, Infocom (Altech, Liquid Telecom), Internet Solutions, UTL Online, Africa Online, Spacenet, The Broadband Company (TMP), Wateen Telecoms (Warid), Smile Telecom, Foris Telecom, Talk Telecom, Mo Telecom, Goal Technology Solutions (GTS), WBS Television, NTV Uganda, MultiChoice, GOTV, Jump TV; Zuku TV (Wananchi), Bharti Airtel (Zain, Celtel), Essar, HiTS Telecom, i-Tel, Simba Telecoms, Monitise, American Tower Corporation (ATC), Eaton Towers, Smart Telecom, Sure Telecom, K2 Telecom, Africell (Lintel).


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Country statistics - 2015 (e)
    • Table Fixed-line network statistics - 2015 (e)
    • Table Internet provider statistics - 2015 (e)
    • Table Internet statistics - 2015 (e)
    • Table Broadband statistics - 2015 (e)
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2015 (e)
    • Table National telecommunications authority
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
      • Table Telecom market revenue in Uganda - 2008- 2012
      • Table Telecom service tax revenue in Uganda - 2009- 2015
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITIES
      • Uganda Communications Commission
      • National Information Technology Authority
    • TELECOMMUNICATIONS POLICY 1996
    • UGANDA COMMUNICATIONS ACT 1997
    • UGANDA COMMUNICATIONS ACT 2013
    • TELECOM SECTOR LIBERALISATION
      • New competition framework 2005
      • National ICT Policy
      • Licensing prior to 2007
      • New licensing regime
      • Additional mobile networks
    • INTERCONNECT
    • NUMBER PORTABILITY (NP)
    • UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUND (USF)
      • RCDF projects
    • INTERCEPTION OF COMMUNICATIONS BILL
      • Registration of subscriber data
    • CYBER CRIME LEGISLATION
    • CONSUMER PROTECTION
    • TAXES
    • COUNTERFEIT PHONES
  • FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS
    • UGANDA TELECOM (UT)
      • Privatisation
      • Network infrastructure
      • Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
    • MTN UGANDA
      • Network infrastructure and services
      • Wireless local loop (WLL)
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • OVERVIEW OF THE NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Table Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Uganda - 1995 - 2004
      • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Uganda - 2005- 2016
    • NATIONAL FIBRE BACKBONE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Table Fibre optic cable assets in Uganda by operator - June 2013
      • MTN and UTL
      • National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI)
      • Next Generation Networks (NGN)
      • UMEME
      • Google
    • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Submarine fibre
      • International bandwidth
        • Table Historic - Uganda's international internet bandwidth - 1999 - 2004
        • Table Uganda's international internet bandwidth - 2005 - 2015
        • Table Uganda's internet bandwidth per population - 2012 - 2014
      • Terrestrial fibre
      • Satellite, VSAT
    • SMART INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Smart grids
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • INTRODUCTION AND STATISTICAL OVERVIEW
      • Market analysis
      • Broadband statistics
        • Table Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in Uganda - 1995 - 2004
        • Table Internet users and penetration rate in Uganda - 2005 - 2016
        • Table Fixed vs. mobile internet subscriptions in Uganda - 2007 - 2016
      • Public Internet access locations
      • Uganda Internet Exchange Point (UiXP)
    • DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (DSL) NETWORKS
      • Selected ISPs
    • FIBRE-TO-THE-PREMISES (FTTP) NETWORKS
    • OTHER FIXED BROADBAND SERVICES
      • Fixed wireless
        • Table MTN Uganda Wi-Fi pricing - 2015
        • Table Wireless broadband subscribers in Uganda - 2010 - 2016
  • DIGITAL MEDIA
    • MARKET OVERVIEW
    • VIDEOSTREAMING
    • DIGITAL TERRESTRIAL TV (DTT)
    • COMMUNICATIONS: VOIP
  • DIGITAL ECONOMY
    • E-COMMERCE
    • E-BANKING
    • E-GOVERNMENT
    • E-HEALTH
    • E-LEARNING
  • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Tariffs and price war
    • MOBILE STATISTICS
      • Table Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Uganda - 1996 - 2004
      • Table Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Uganda - 2005 - 2016
      • Table Mobile operator market share of subscribers - 2012 - 2013
      • Mobile traffic
        • Table Mobile traffic in Uganda by traffic type - 2008 - 2015
      • Mobile data
        • Table SMS messages sent - 2009 - 2016
      • Mobile broadband
        • Table Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration in Uganda - 2009 - 2016
      • Forecasts
        • Table Forecast mobile subscribers in Uganda - 2015; 2017; 2020
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • Licensing
      • Taxes
        • Table Telecommunications tax revenue in Uganda by tax type - 2008 - 2014
      • Tariffs
      • One Network Area
      • Infrastructure sharing
      • SIM card registration
      • Quality of service (QoS)
    • MOBILE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Digital networks
        • Table Africell 3G/HSPA mobile broadband pricing - 2015
      • Other infrastructure developments
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • MTN Uganda
        • Table MTN Uganda subscribers - 2000 - 2015
        • Table MTN Uganda financial data - 2013 - 2015
        • Table MTN Uganda ARPU - 2002 - 2015
      • Bharti Airtel Uganda (formerly Zain, Celtel)
        • Table Historic - Bharti Uganda subscribers - 2002 - 2013
        • Table Historic - Zain Uganda ARPU - 2006 - 2009
      • Uganda Telecom (UTL)
      • Africell (Orange Uganda)
        • Table Orange Uganda mobile subscribers - 2009 - 2014
      • i-Tel
      • Smile Communications
      • Smart Telecom, Sure Telecom
      • Vodafone Uganda
    • MOBILE VIRTUAL NETWORK OPERATORS (MVNO)
      • K2 Telecom
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • m-banking
        • Table Mobile money services - 2013 - 2015
      • m-TV
      • m-Health

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