2017 Review: Editor’s Top 20 Telecom News Coverage

As we come to the closure of this year, we give a brief of what we covered in the telecom news.

20: Vodafone Uganda Expanded its 4G Network to Areas of Mukono and Seeta
ON May 9th, 2017, Vodafone Uganda officially launched their new site mask a few meters from Uganda Christian University as they continued to steadily grow their footprint in response to customer’s demands (goo.gl/r21lws).

19: Nokia Shaped the Future of Technology in Africa to Transform Human Experiences
AfricaCom 2017 was a landmark event for Nokia as it showcased how the company is shaping the future of technology to transform human experiences with effortless, simple and dependable technologies (goo.gl/kFG6Nd).

18: ICT Ministry Spoke Out as Operators Protest Government Exclusive Procurement Deal with UTL
Telecommunications operators in Uganda rose to oppose government’s directive that all its businesses be handled by struggling Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL), in which the state has a minority stake (goo.gl/z1jAtp).

17: Africa’s rural mobile connectivity made profitable for telecom operators
With 100% coverage in urban areas across the continent, competition to retain and/ or grow user bases is fierce for mobile operators. At the same time, however, more than 50 percent of the continent´s population, remains unconnected, because they live in rural areas that lack access to voice, internet and digital services that include mobile finance, eEducation, eGovernment and eAgriculture (goo.gl/w1R4SJ).

16: Vodafone Uganda Reached Out to its Customers to Strengthen and Grow Bond Between the Two Parties
Vodafone Uganda reached out to its customers with the aim of strengthening the relationships built while approaching service at a more personable level in all the service centers. The firm’s activities involved the CEO; John Ndego together with his executive team and Vodafone staff taking the lead in providing exceptional service at the different Vodafone shops and kiosks (goo.gl/tHSPFL).

15: Bharti Airtel to Acquire Tigo Rwanda
Telecom operator Bharti Airtel, on December 19th, 2017 said that it has signed an agreement with Millicom International Cellular South Africa to acquire 100% stake in its Rwanda operation which operates under the brand name of Tigo Rwanda (goo.gl/ve47ue).

14: Africell Uganda Unveiled Sheila Gashumba as the Face of the Triple Data offer
On August 23rd, 2017 Africell Uganda officially unveiled the #TripleData offer to the Ugandan data market. The launch was in pursuit of Africell’s promise to offer the most competitive voice and data deals to their current and prospective customers countrywide. To give image and attach personality to Triple Data, Africell signed top TV personality Sheilah Gashumba as Ambassador for a year-long contract (goo.gl/fkwx4n).

13: Airtel Africa Denied Plans to Exit Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania
Airtel Africa in a press statement came out to say was not looking at exiting Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania according to media reports that were made earlier. The firm on December 13th, 2017 said the reports are completely incorrect, unfounded and devoid of any facts (goo.gl/C7XEFA).

12: Huawei helped Safaricom bring fiber to more Kenyan homes
Despite the high levels of mobile penetration in Kenya, fixed broadband penetration rate sits at less than two percent, which failed to meet the network requirements for the next generation of home and business users, and potentially offered new market opportunities for carriers. According to the ITU’s “Impact of broadband on the economy” report, broadband networks create jobs directly and indirectly, with positive spillover effects for businesses and consumers (goo.gl/1VC5EA).

11: Liquid Telecom Uganda Partnered With Innovation Village To Support Ugandan Startups
Liquid Telecom Uganda, part of the leading pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom, on November 30th, 2017 announced a partnership with tech-incubation hub; the Innovation Village to support local based startup with high speed internet and cloud-based services (goo.gl/tM2ko9).

10: K2 Telecom Switched Off
The Buganda Kingdom owned telecommunications company, K2 telecom was switched off for close to a week, PC Tech Magazine has learned. The company’s subscribers were neither able to make or receive calls from any network, since September 25th, 2017. Sources inside the company revealed that the switch off is due to technical problems stemming from their hosts, Uganda Telecom and Smart Telecom (goo.gl/KQ8zZg).

9: Government Made a U-Turn, Orders MDAs to Procure Internet from NITA-U
On September 14th, 2017, the Ugandan government had ordered all MDAs to procure airtime and internet services from bankrupt Uganda Telecom Limited, a decision that was disputed by many in the ICT Ministry, stones turned around on October 31st, 2017 as the government through the Ministry of Finance ordered all MDAs to buy internet services from the National Information Technology Authority of Uganda (NITA-U) (goo.gl/CcEZgc).

8: Airtel Uganda Launched its 4G LTE network
Airtel Uganda on September 22nd, 2017 launched it 4G LTE service. The announcement was made at a press briefing which took place at Kampala Serena Hotel, and and attended by the ICT Minister Hon Frank Tumwebaze. The telecom firm invested heavily in the upgrade with 404 across Kampala, Entebbe and Wakiso and a further 126 sites across the country (goo.gl/nFFREQ).

7: Museveni Intervened as Uganda Telecom LTD Faced Liquidation
President Yoweri Museveni swung in to save Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL), a government owned Telecommunications Company which was facing a possible liquidation. Through Investment Minister Evelyne Anite, the President has assembled a team of lawyers, who successfully filed for bankruptcy, in a desperate last minute measure to save the company from liquidation (goo.gl/AGDNc4).

6: Ugandan Government Took Over UTL Management
Ugandan government on March 1st, 2017 announced the takeover of management of Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) and all its affairs. The announcement was made in a statement by Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Hon Matia Kasaija following the withdrawal of the company’s major shareholder, Ucom Ltd. According to Kasaija, Ucom Ltd, a Libya based company also ordered resignation of all five of their Libyan representatives on the UTL board of Directors (goo.gl/yGxUQ1).

5: UCC Report: Number of Mobile Phone Subscribers in Uganda Dropped
The number of mobile phone subscribers in Uganda was reported dropped by a margin of close to 60,000, the new Post, Broadcasting and Telecommunications Market and Industry report indicated. The report was released by the Uganda Communications Commission at a Press conference showing a total of 56,946 subscribers were lost in fourth quarter (goo.gl/TVyRJ9).

4: SIM Card Verification Exercise Was 98% Successful
The Uganda Communications Commission came out to claim that it achieved success in the recent SIM card verification exercise. Phone numbers that had not been verified by the National Identification Registration Authority were disconnected by the telecom companies at the end of August. UCC corporate affairs director Fred Otunnu told KFM that the exercise registered over 98 percent success rate (goo.gl/QCG8aj).

3: MTN Uganda Turned 19
Uganda’s leading telecom firm; MTN Uganda turned 19 on October 21st, 2017. Having made it this far, the firm came to have done amazing things both in our communities and to the country at large. At 19, they have started #ANewLife, and at the same time went with the #SharingYoPassion campaign. We looked back at what they managed to achieve (goo.gl/s51isf).

2: Has UCC Closed Down Smile Telecom?
Tension rose amongst customers and subscribers of Smile Telecom Uganda over alleged closure of the company by the regulator, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC). A report by a Ugandan local newspaper on Sunday indicated that the telecom had been closed “because it is facing a number of financial challenges” – further indicating that UCC Executive Director confirmed the closure of the company, adding that negotiations were already in place to come up with a better solution (goo.gl/JoVmjg).

1: Telecom Operators Spoke Out as Vendors Hiked Airtime Rates
Telecommunications operators came out to clarify on the issue of increased prices of airtime cards in some parts of the country, a move that had sparked anger amongst consumers. Starting on November 3rd, 2017 evening, reports on social media indicated that there was an increase which this website confirmed on Sunday morning – as an airtime card worth 500 UGX was sold at 600 UGX while the card for 1000 UGX was sold at 1200 UGX (goo.gl/uDgc3b).

Happy Holidays !!!!

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