Mobile operator MTN Uganda has said it expects strong uptake of data services to help push up revenues in 2016 by between 7% and 10%. MTN Uganda’s chief executive officer, Brian Gouldie, told Reuters: ‘The biggest reason for the growth will be around our data.’ While voice services still account for the bulk of the operator’s sales, bringing in 56% of its UGX1.33 trillion (USD386 million) turnover in 2015, mobile data is the fastest growing segment, expanding 17% last year compared to 2014.
MTN Uganda says it has around 5.4 million data customers, but only 9% of these are currently covered by its 3G and 4G broadband networks, and the company aims to boost that figure to between 15% and 20% in 2016. MTN expects to sign a syndicated loan within the next few weeks to help support its investment; as reported by CommsUpdate earlier this month, the cellco plans to invest UGX238 billion in 2016 on upgrading and expanding its networks. The firm says it is looking to deploy 200 additional 3G sites and another 100 4G LTE base stations, as well as 400km of fibre backbone network.