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 Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Mobile penetration in Uganda is expected to increase from 39.0 percent in 2009 to 70.7 percent by 2014, prompted by the successful liberalization of the sector and increased competition, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.

Although Uganda is one of the smallest markets in the region, it is also one of the fastest growing markets in Africa and the Middle East, notes Sylwia Boguszewska, analyst at Pyramid Research and author of the report. In the next five years, Pyramid anticipates Uganda will experience the second highest percentage increase in terms of mobile subscriptions among the African countries (after Cameroon). "Mobile penetration rose from just 1.9 percent at year-end 2002 to an estimated 39.0 percent in 2009," she says. "Pyramid expects it will increase further to reach 70.7 percent penetration by 2014, while the number of mobile subscriptions will exceed 27 million," she adds.

The Ugandan telecom sector has gone through a major transformation, notes Boguszewska. "As a result of a successful liberalization process, Uganda now boasts five mobile operators, three of which are well-established: MTN Uganda, Uganda Telecom, and Zain Uganda," she explains. "They were joined by Warid Telecom, which entered the market in February 2008, and Orange Uganda, which launched in March 2009," she adds. Anupam is due to enter soon, increasing the number of mobile operators to six.

Increased competition is driving down prices, with new entrant Warid being particularly aggressive to attract subscribers, and MTN's Zone pricing scheme has also shown high adoption. "Last year, the three mobile operators -- MTN Uganda, UTL, and Zain -- commanded 85 percent of mobile market subscribers, while Warid Telecom, despite its late entry in 2008, managed to gain a significant 15 percent market share," Boguszewska says.

Source: Cellular News.