Mobile subscription rate drops in Uganda
Mobile subscription in Uganda has dropped by 11%, while internet subscriptions registered subdued growth, leaving only mobile money as an outstanding performer.
This is according to a report from the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) which showed the mobile subscriptions decreased from 28.4 million at the end of March 2020 to 25.5 million at the end of June 2020.
According to the report, the 11% customer contraction is the first recorded market reduction in the last two years.
It added that the contraction, which also resulted in a reduction in national teledensity from 67% at the end of March 2020 to 61% at the end of June 2020, is attributed to among other things, the suppressed new demand due to COVID-19.
The organisation added that the reported 13% global reduction in shipment of smartphones resulted in disruption to Uganda’s domestic supply chain.
As for mobile internet subscriptions, the report said while the numbers failed to keep up with the outstanding first quarter (January-March 2020) performance which saw more than 1 million internet subscribers added, there was a growth of less than 100, 000 new connections.
“This remains noteworthy growth in light of the general contraction in mobile subscription and devices,” said the report.
Regarding mobile financial services, the report said 500, 000 customers registered for mobile money services during the period under review.
At the end of June 2020, the report said the number of registered mobile money accounts had grown to 25.9 million accounts, up from 25.5 million at the end of March 2020
Commenting on the report, Amos Kalunga, a senior telecom analyst at Computer Association of Zambia said, “We can see similarities between Uganda and Zambia’s telecom markets. In both countries, mobile money and mobile internet subscriptions have been going up steadily over the past year. COVID-19 seems to be the catalyst behind this growth as more people now use mobile money services to buy and pay for goods and services while using internet for work and doing business.”