Uganda eyes telecom potential
New submarine cables to help drive growth of fixed broadband
Mobile subscriptions in Uganda are expected to double in the next five years, growing to 20.9 million in 2015, up from from 10.7 million in 2010, giving a penetration rate of 52.7% according to a report from Pyramid Research.
The report also stated that fixed broadband will generate about $229 million in 2015 and will become the primary source of telecom revenue growth in Uganda.
The telecom market in Uganda generated $638 million in 2009, almost exclusively through mobile services; and mobile data has been growing steadily due to mobile money applications and a growing need for connectivity, the report said.
Kerem Arsal, an analyst at Pyramid Research, said that the main obstacle to increasing penetration of fixed services in Uganda has been a lack of affordable last-mile access to rural areas. Indeed, most Ugandans live in rural areas, where income levels are often too low to justify individual mobile subscriptions, according to Arsal.
Fixed broadband services in Uganda are expected to improve as new undersea cables land on the coast of East Africa and terrestrial fibre rings start reaching the landlocked country. "Data revenue and adoption in East Africa will grow fast with the decline in the costs of international bandwidth due to the new undersea cables," said Arsal.