Uganda’s mobile and fixed telephone subscriptions totalled 29 million in Q3 2021, bolstering the country’s telecommunications industry.
The preceding is based on a recent quarterly report from the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), which shows that despite a slowing in quarter-to-quarter additions, the 12-month period ending September 2021 saw a healthy 10 per cent year-on-year growth, with 2.6 million new subscriptions.
According to the report, the 29.1 million subscriptions represent a 69 per cent telephone penetration rate, which translates to a national penetration of seven lines for every ten Ugandans.
According to market research, 85 per cent of the 200 000 new mobile connections made in the third quarter were data-enabled connections.
The continuous migration to data-enabled low-cost entry terminals pushed by MNOs and independent handset importers is driving this trend.
The research added that the total broadband traffic rose to 100 billion megabytes (MBs), up from 69 billion MBs in the second quarter (April-June), marking the first time that more than 100 billion MBs were downloaded in a single quarter.
“It is therefore not unexpected that total internet subscriptions had for the first time crossed the 22 million mark at the end of September 2021 – a broadband penetration rate of 52 per cent,” according to an excerpt from the report. Meaning that one out of every two Ugandans has access to the internet. On a year-over-year basis, the increased trend in broadband connection corresponds to a 1.9 million (10 per cent) increase in fixed and mobile subscribers between September 2020 and September 2021.”
“We expect a continuing rise of mobile and broadband connection not just in Uganda but also in other countries in the region,” said Alfred Zulu, a senior telecommunications researcher at the Computer Association of Zambia, in response to the UCC report.
“Many factors contribute to this, including market players’ competition in the supply of low-cost handsets and the cost of broadband services becoming affordable as a result of promotions and competitions by mobile phone operators competing to retain existing customers and adding new ones to their networks; to consolidate their businesses,” Zulu added.