Mobile Technology in Uganda

By Leo Mutuku
  Published 29 Oct 2011
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This week, iHub Research focuses on Uganda as part of the ongoing study into Mobile Technology in Africa. While Uganda’s teledensity may not be as impressive as Kenya’s, at 41% it is still significant and growing. Despite the fact that there are five Mobile Network Operators in Uganda, MTN dominates the market with a lion’s share of 60% market share commanding almost a monopoly in services such as Mobile Money where they boast of over 1 million registered users and a network of 1500 agents. It is interesting that mobile money in Uganda,according to a recent study, is more popular with the banked, contrary to popular belief that it should attract more of the unbanked. According to the Uganda Communications Commission, it is estimated that 40% of mobile subscribers own more than one sim card and this could mean that there are fewer unique mobile subscribers than the stated figure of 12,828,264 mobile subscribers. As is the trend in the rest of Africa, the Symbian Operating system is by far the most used mobile OS by 60.27% of mobile users in Uganda. Despite the recent Mobile Network Operator price wars, average on-net(within the network) calling tariffs are still high at UGX 180/= or, equivalently in KES, 6/=. Uganda has one the lowest internet penetration rates in the world. However, the government has completed two phases of laying fibre optic cables and all Uganda government and parastatal offices are set to be connected via this fibre cable. The fibre optic framework set also presents Uganda with new opportunities to players in the industry such as call centres and other Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs) Service Providers to grow their business in Uganda in the coming years.
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