MobileNewsSpecial Coverage

How Ugandans Are Using their Mobile Phones

In just a few years, the proliferation of mobile phone networks has transformed communications here in Uganda. Almost every Ugandan you meet along the streets of Kampala has a mobile phone.Uganda has about 20 million mobile phone users with mobile service companies MTN and Airtel having 17 million of the users as its subscribers.

Today, a mobile phone is no longer a luxury, its is now a ‘necessity.’ According to journalist Dara Kerr, Uganda is “a place where cell phones could out number light bulbs.”

Mobile phones have different uses for different people, from sending text messages to taking pictures and videos to social networking to mobile transaction and so forth.

However, The big question is what do Ugandans use these mobiles phones for? Basically a phone helps one  make calls and receive calls plus text messages [everyone basically knows that].

Receiving and Making calls
Take an example of “your” grandfather in the village; he probably has two phones one is a Nokia and another is a Techno with a MTN sim-card and Airtel sim-card respectively. He wants to take advantage of both telecoms and their deals. He receives calls and makes out calls using these phones.

Then, this other person who has a ‘dual smartphone’. Unlike, this person who has two phones for their two lines, you’ve a dual phone which means all your sim-cards are actively in one phone, so it’s much more easier to maximize product deals from telecom companies.

Having my sister as an example, she has a dual Samsung smartphone and she’s literally on the phone day and night. She doesn’t make out so many calls nor receive calls often but is always texting. This is typical an example of most youth and middle aged people in Uganda, who love texting.

Sending and Receiving e-mails
Okay! if you have a feature phone, you’ll be left out on this. Using your smartphone, you’re able to check your emails, sends emails and also schedule emails.

Reminders and Planning
Using my sister as an example for this, she has a dual Samsung smartphone. She uses the S Planner to help her set meeting and reminders, Trello to check on the assignments that she has completed, those in progress and those she hasn’t started on.

Social Media
Then we’ve a group of people using their phones for; social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Viber, WhatsApp,SnapChat and Telegram.

Mobile Payments [Transactions]
Many Ugandans, are using their phones for this purpose [mobile payments], to send and receive money. “Basically that’s what my father uses his phones for.” In fact MTN Mobile Money facilitates about 100,000 transactions per hour everyday.There are so many Ugandans who fall under that category.

Today, mobile transactions is at it’s peak. Telecom companies such as MTN Uganda has gone ahead to provide the people of Uganda all the necessary materials/kits to carry out mobile money transactions. With their “Gaggawala Promtion,” they’ve been able to give people a chance to carry out these transactions. A feature phone would be the best for this because it’s much faster than the smartphones.[related-posts]

Let us know what you’re using your mobile phone for in the comment section below

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