Uganda’s telecommunication sector will peak at US$1 billion by 2017 as the industry continues to grow, according to a report released by global telecoms research leader Pyramid Research.
The report, “Uganda: Growing Operator Competition to Drive Network Expansion”, estimated that by the end of 2012 the sector had accrued US$858 million in service revenue.
Pyramid Research identified the main growth drivers to be fixed data services, with a CAGR of 23 percent, and mobile data with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.1 percent, amounting to accumulative revenue opportunity of $1.9 billion (USh4.7 billion) between 2012 and 2017.
Mobile voice revenue is, however, expected to drop in the coming years. “Looking forward, we expect mobile voice service revenue to decline from $613 million (USh1.45 trillion) in 2012 to $576 million (USh1.4 trillion) in 2017, in an otherwise optimistic market,” the report deduced.
According to a report published last year by BuddeComm, an online research database, over 90 percent of Uganda’s internet connections are mobile.
“Mobile data and 3G broadband services as well as mobile money transfer and m-banking services are at the forefront of this development in a country where less than 20 percent of the population currently has internet access or holds a traditional bank account,” the report said.
Pyramid Research’s analysis emphasises the importance of data across Africa in a bid to keep telecom companies in the continent profitable and relevant.
Uganda’s telecommunications sector has been described as “crowded with many operators”. Long before Kenya got into the mobile scene, Uganda had spread its network countrywide. Telecom companies in the country are currently upgrading their data networks with some expecting to launch LTE service (4G) soon.