Kabaka Ronald M. Mutebi
K2 Telecom is said to be owned by Buganda Kingdom

A new telecommunication company has been established – a second in as many months –  raising dust among the industry players. Launched on the New Year’s Eve, K2 Telecom is already positioning itself as the choice of the masses although the existing players seem to think that its entry is ill-timed and unnecessary.

The company, according to reports, is owned – at least in part – by Buganda Kingdom. It follows last month’s launch of Sure Telecom in a country that is now thought to be crowded by telecoms operators. Indeed, analysts say existing service providers have already exhausted the market, saying K2 Telecom will bring nothing new.

“With 74 companies licensed already, I think the industry is not only over licensed but congested,” Uganda Telecom Managing Director Donald Nyakairu told the Daily Monitor yesterday. K2 telecom is the seventh player in the telecom industry after Airtel, MTN, Warid, UTL, Smiles Telecom, and Orange Uganda.

“The network has a national coverage. Its quality of service will provide solutions to different market segments among the people of Uganda,” read a company statement issued Monday. Worth noting is that the statement was quiet about the details of the owners, beyond mentioning that it is an indigenous company. Reference of the total investment was also not mentioned.

However, Warid Telecom chief commercial officer Shailendra Naidu said all had already been done by the existing service providers, meaning that there was nothing new the new player will add.

But Mr Shaban Sserunkuma, a consumer activist, disagreed with the position. According to Mr Sserunkuma, there is a need for competition, especially if it can improve the quality of service without necessary being expensive.

“We welcome the new player. For long we have been treated to poor quality services. And if the new player can enhance competition then that is good news.”

MTN decided to tread carefully, saying there could be as many service providers as possible because Uganda is a liberalised economy.

The MTN general manager, corporate service and also the chief legal counsel, Mr Anthony Katamba, said whoever would be able to offer quality services would carry the day.

Currently, there about 15million telecom subscribers. The first industry player was Celtel, now Airtel, before MTN, UTL and others ventured into the market. K2 Telecom’s calling code is 0730.

Information from Daily Monitor was used in this report.