Widespread growth expected in Uganda
In September 2010, Google began talks with MTN and Orange Uganda to promote data services including mail, search and browsing and eventually to introduce Nexus One and Android handsets into the country.
East African countries will benefit from the arrival of multiple subsea cables because of lower transmission costs, resulting in increased investment in terrestrial backbones tying landlocked countries, according to Pyramid Research.
Kerem Arsal, analyst at Pyramid Research, expects Uganda to be the subject of greater interest from multinational telecoms companies because of growth rates in both broadband adoption and mobile subscription as a result of new developments in east Africa.
Uganda has a mobile penetration rate of 37% and a technology-neutral licensing regime which offers operators the ability to expand networks to unsigned users. “The primary driver of this growth is a rising interest in and latent demand for data services. Mobile money services of MTN Uganda brought 1.5 million new subscribers to the operator in 2009, already signalling the possibilities of introducing localised data services in the region,” said Arsal.