MTN Uganda has secured the right to run its business in the East African country for the next decade following cabinet approval of a UCC (Uganda Communication Commission) plan to renew the license "with new stringent terms in pursuit of broadband policy goals."
Minister of ICT and National Guidance Frank Tumwebaze received the official go-ahead and said he has been tasked to work closely with the UCC and Uganda's Attorney General to ensure that the renewed license has clear terms and conditions to ensure quality service.
"It was further noted that when the then Minister of Works and Communications issued the first license to MTN in 1998, the challenges were different. The concern then was more about telephone penetration which MTN and other operators helped to achieve. The license conditions then were not stringent enough about quality of service obligations as demand and uptake of the voice and data service was low. The concerns of today are mainly about reliability and affordability of services," reads a statement by Tumwebaze.
MTN Uganda recorded 10.5 million subscribers across Uganda at the end of June 2018. The company's overview of performance in the first half of the year described macroeconomic conditions in Uganda as "supportive" leading to a rise in service revenue of 8,8% and a 19,7% increase in digital revenue.
The telco managed to achieve growth in mobile money revenue, supported by a reduction in commissions paid to its Mobile Money agents.
The success of MTN's mobile money business in Uganda has led to a new partnership with Mastercard and United Bank for Africa (UBA), which will see MTN Mobile Money customers being issued with a virtual card or MTN MoMocard to shop or make payments at global outlets accepting Mastercard payments.
Wim Vanhelleputte, Chief Executive Officer of MTN Uganda said MTN Mobile Money is helping to connect more Ugandans to new forms of commerce.
"Our affordable mobile financial services are positively impacting communities and lifestyles in Uganda. This is evidenced by the phenomenal growth in both the number of customers and volume of transactions over the years."
Aside from its decision on MTN, Cabinet also approved the National Broadband Policy established to avert duplication and wastage of resources in the provision of broadband among the key stakeholders in the ICT sector.