SEACOM Acquires Africell Uganda Assets to Expand its East African Footprint
SEACOM's acquisition of Africell Uganda infrastructures goes hand in hand with SEACOM's five-year strategy into expanding operations in the region.
SEACOM has announced the acquisition of selected infrastructure assets from Africell Uganda marking a significant step for SEACOM and a testament to the company’s commitment to providing, competitive end-to-end connectivity and ICT solutions across the East African region.
“East Africa has been an important market for SEACOM ever since we first arrived on the shores of Mombasa in 2009. By officially establishing ourselves in Uganda through proprietary facilities and resources, we are prioritizing widespread connectivity and opening up opportunities to work with businesses in search of quality Internet services,” Tejpal Bedi, the Managing Director and Regional Head of Sales for SEACOM ENEA, said in a press statement.
Tejpal noted that the acquisition of Africell Uganda infrastructures goes hand in hand with SEACOM’s five-year strategy into expanding operations in the region. “As such, we are very excited about having a greater local presence,” he said.
SEACOM has provided wholesale solutions to Uganda since its inception in 2009, and corporate solutions since 2018. The leading service provider enjoys a large footprint in Uganda’s financial services sector (FSI) and works with government and non-governmental organizations, including those in the education, technology, and hospitality sectors.
Although dominated by small businesses, Uganda is home to a thriving private-sector with thousands of medium to large-sized businesses located primarily across Kampala and the central region. There’s also a growing Internet penetration rate with competitive connectivity prices as compared to other countries in the region.
The acquisition of established assets will allow for further expansion into East Africa, enabling SEACOM to provide seamless integration of its services for clients across Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, and decreasing the reliance on third-party last-mile providers to deliver connectivity solutions —solutions that include wireless and fibre internet access, cloud connectivity, as well as hosting facilities, such as email and security, such as distributed denial of service protection software.
Tejpal noted that SEACOM is responding to the needs of the market and customers are starting to buy more bandwidth. “The growth of the internet in the region follows the demands of businesses, and it’s up to us to facilitate that. The end result is lower prices, improved reactions, and an overall better experience for our customers,” he explains.
Tejpal further noted that businesses are making use of the cloud-like never before, using enterprise resource planning, Office 365, and customer relationship management solutions that serve not just to fill gaps, but aid in driving digital transformation and strengthening internal and external capabilities.
This latest expansion comes on the heels of SEACOM’s recent acquisition of Kenyan service provider Hirani Telecom’s metro fibre network. SEACOM is poised to take over a comprehensive portfolio of infrastructure essential for connecting enterprise customers. This includes 760 kilometres of fibre within Kampala and surrounding towns, a 250 square metre data centre, and office space for SEACOM representatives and staff members.
Africell halt its operations in Uganda on October 7th, 2021 making them another multinational telecommunication company to exit the Ugandan economy. The telco’s decision to leave Uganda was based on a careful assessment of the long-term commercial outlook for the business and its fit within the overall group strategy of driving digital transformation in the communities it served.
The telco worked closely with the government and the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) throughout the decision-making process till when the network operations formally ceased. The telco closing noted in a press statement the parent company, Africell Holdings would go to focus on other opportunities for social and commercial impact.
Africell was the third-largest telecommunications company in Uganda with a subscriber base of 3 million as of April 2020 in the same market dominated by MTN with a subscriber base of 15 million followed by Airtel with 10 million subscribers.
After exiting Uganda, Africell Holdings now has operations in four (4) African markets i.e. Gambia, Sierra Leone, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Angola.