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Sure Telecom enters Uganda telecom sector

o Edris Kisambira
16.01.2009 kl 17:29 |

Just when Uganda's telecommunications market, especially the voice segment, appeared saturated with four players carriers and a fifth waiting in the wings, a sixth has been approved.

 

Just when Uganda's telecommunications market, especially the voice segment, appeared saturated with four players carriers and a fifth waiting in the wings, a sixth has been approved.

Sure Telecom from Singapore is investing some US$400 million in an operator's license, according to information from the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), the agency that tracks new investment in the country.

Sure Telecom's planned investment in Uganda's competitive telecom arena will push total investment in the sector to $1.45 billion, up from $850 million in August last year, according to data from the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC). This takes into account that Orange Uganda plans to invest some $200 million.

Sure plans to invest in mobile telephony, landline and data services, said Maggie Kigozi, the executive director UIA.

Sure offers Internet-based phone center solutions, international phone numbers and low-cost worldwide calls among other services, according to information available on the Sure Web site.

Sure Telecom will face strong competition in a mobile market that includes African giants MTN and Zain. Other competitors include Uganda Telecom, which is majority-owned by Libya's Lap Green Networks and Warid Telecom -- an Abu Dhabi-based telecom company.

Out of a population of 30 million people, Uganda's telecom companies together have a combined subscriber base of just over 6 million users, but it is growing fast.

In the landline segment of the business, where Sure Telecom plans to invest some of its money, only Uganda Telecom offers competition. The data segment of the business is competitive with big and small players but is characterized by poor and inefficient service to users.

As Sure Telecom readies itself, France Telecom and its Orange mobile brand are set to launch service in the first quarter of this year.

France Telecom, which launched operations in Kenya just last year earned the right to enter the Uganda market following a deal it inked with Hits Telecom (the license holder) at the end of last year.

Keywords: Telecommunication  
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