Uganda’s pandemic woes contribute to Africell’s exit

Uganda’s pandemic woes contribute to Africell’s exit

A series of reforms within Uganda’s telecom sector have provided the country with one of the most competitive markets in the region.

The entry of MTN Uganda as the second national operator to compete with Uganda Telecom in all telecom sectors fundamentally improved the availability and quality of services offered to end-users. Regulatory reforms in recent years have meant that Lycamobile Uganda and Airtel Uganda also now hold National Telecommunications Operator licences.

A simplified and converged licensing regime has significantly reduced barriers to market entry and increased competition, but this has also led to price wars which have dented operator revenue. Fixed-line infrastructure remains poor, with low penetration, and as a result fixed-line broadband penetration is also particularly low. In consequence, consumers have largely depended on mobile infrastructure to provide voice and broadband services. There is sufficient capacity with LTE infrastructure to match data demand during the next few years. Nevertheless, MTN Uganda has anticipated the migration to 5G, having held trials in early 2020 though the roll out of 5G is not expected until later in 2022.

Key developments:

  • MTN Group completes IPO of its Uganda unit;
  • Lycamobile Uganda is awarded the country’s fourth National Telecommunications Operator (NTO) licence;
  • MTN Uganda trials standalone 5G, receives additional spectrum in the 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands;
  • Liquid Intelligence Technologies expands reach of FttP services;
  • Alphabet drops Project Loon;
  • Africell exits from Uganda market;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to June 2021, operator data to Q3 2021, updated Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of pandemic on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

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Developing Telecoms market report summaries are produced in partnership with BuddeComm, the world’s largest continually updated online telecommunications research service.

The above article is a summary of the following BuddeComm report:

Report title: Uganda - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Edition: January 2022

Analyst: Henry Lancaster

Number of pages: 153

Companies mentioned in this report: Uganda Telecom (UTL, LAP Green), MTN Uganda, UMEME, SEACOM, Infocom (Altech, Liquid Telecom), Internet Solutions, MTN Uganda (Telia), Bharti Airtel (Zain, Celtel), Uganda Telecom (UTL, LAP Green, Telecel, Orascom, Deutsche Telekom), Warid Telecom (Essar), Orange Uganda (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), UTL Online (Uganda Telecom), Infocom (Altech), Africa Online, Spacenet, MTN, Wateen Telecoms (Warid), Smile Telecom, Foris Telecom, Talk Telecom, Mo Telecom, Goal Technology Solutions (GTS), UMEME, WBS Television, NTV Uganda, MultiChoice

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