MTN takes steps to end Uganda’s ‘price war’

2 Sep 2011

After criticising the direction of the telecoms industry in Uganda, South Africa-backed MTN Uganda has increased its on-net and off-net tariff to UGX4 (USD0.0014) per second. MTN Uganda’s chief executive Themba Khumalo said that in light of the country’s economic condition, the tariff structure needed to be adjusted to prevent the industry from ‘self-destruction’. For most of 2011, operators in Uganda’s cramped telecom sector have been offering calls at below cost rates; a practice which the regulator is in the process of taking steps to restrict. During a visit to Kampala last week, Sifiso Dabengwa, MTN’s CEO described the direction of the market as unsustainable, and said that it would likely be to the detriment of the industry as it would hamper investment in the sector. He went on to say that MTN is spending to upgrade its mobile money offerings, which have been suffering from ‘technical issues’. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Uganda currently has six cellcos, MTN Uganda, Airtel Uganda, Warid Telecom Uganda, Uganda Telecom Ltd, Orange Uganda and i-Tel – and is expecting a seventh, Sure Telecom later this year.

Uganda, MTN Uganda,

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