Mobile and fixed line subscription boosts Uganda’s telecoms prospects
From Uganda, mobile and fixed telephone subscription reached 29 million in Q3 2021, boosting the country’s telecommunications industry.
This is based on a recent quarterly report by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) which indicates that despite the slowdown in quarter-on-quarter additions, the 12 months period ending September 2021 recorded a decent 10% year-on-year growth, with 2.6 million new subscription.
According to the report, the 29.1 million subscriptions represents a telephone penetration of 69%, which equates to a national penetration of seven lines for every ten Ugandans.
The market research showed that 85% of the 200, 000 new mobile connections during the third quarter were data-enabled connections.
This trend is driven by the continued shift to data-enabled low-cost entry terminals pushed by MNOs and importers of independent handsets.
The report added that the total broadband traffic grew to 100-billion MBs, up from the 69-billion MBs recorded in the second quarter (April-June), and that it was the first time that more than 100-billion MBs have been downloaded in a single quarter.
An excerpt from the report reads, “It is therefore, not surprising that at the end of September 2021, total internet subscriptions had for the first time crossed the 22 million mark-a broadband penetration rate of 52%. That means that 1 every in 2 Ugandans has an active internet connection. On a year-on-year comparison, the upwards trend in broadband connection matches the fixed and mobile subscriptions base growing by 1.9 million (10%) between September 2020 and September 2021.”
Commenting on the UCC’s report, Alfred Zulu, a senior telecommunications researcher at the Computer Association of Zambia said, “We expect a sustained growth of mobile and broadband connectivity not just in Uganda but also in other countries in the region. There are many factors contributing to this; first, competition in the supply of cheap handsets by market players and secondly, the cost of broadband services has become affordable owing to promotions and competitions by mobile phone operators who are competing to maintain existing customers and add new ones to their networks in order to consolidate their businesses.”