Smile Communications reports the number of customers using Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology has increased tremendously in both Uganda and Tanzania.
During an interview with HumanIPO, Zulaika Kasajja, the company’s senior manager of legal and regulatory, said more people are using the technology on their phones and laptops for data despite the company not yet offering voice services because devices are too expensive.
“The reception has been good, so far we have covered 60 per cent of Kampala and we are still rolling out, we expect to cover the whole of Kampala before the end of the year. We target to cover the rest of Uganda in the next five years,” said Kasajja of the company’s penetration and future plans.
As much as people are embracing LTE there are challenges the company has met with the main one being making people buy into the idea because it was new.
To counter this, the company has launched an aggressive marketing campaign that will rope in the potential customers.
“We have started marketing, established pay points to make the service more accessible and partnered with banks to have the service available at ATMs. Customers can also get our services from our Pay Way automated kiosks, Smile shops in the country and from sales people who do door to door campaigns,” said Kasajja.
When asked of fearing that LTE technology might soon get phased out in case something else crops up, the manager said they are not afraid because LTE is a technology that will develop within itself.
Competition from other upcoming companies is also not a problem to the company as Kasajja explains that the spectrum the company holds is pretty much finished and it will be sometime, possibly one to two years, before someone else can get it.
Smile rolled out the LTE Technology in Uganda in May and in Tanzania in June this year.
It is currently rolling out in Nigeria with people already testing the services.
Plans are in top gear to roll out LTE in the Democratic Republic of Congo by the end of next year.
There are currently no plans for the company to penetrate in Kenya because, according to Kasajja, the regulators are too strict and the spectrum is already dished out.