As every marriage goes, a lot of compromises have to be made by the couple in order for it to work and last longer. It seems the acquisition of Warid by Airtel has brought about many changes in the telecom sector in Uganda.A number of internal and external pressures and changes have been sighted from job losses — on the Warid side, tariff merging, and several behind closed door meetings to come up with the perfect “marriage” of 7.2 million combined subscribers (as the new ads by Airtel and Warid depicts). Some of the speculation from telecom experts in the country believe that Airtel never bought Warid because of its 2.3 million subscribers, but it was for a much bigger plan, I guess that’s is a story for another day.
You should understand that these two companies had a different modal of technical network operations, Airtel’s modal was focused more on outsourcing most of the works and Warid was doing most of the dirty-tech work in-house. Both these telecos have different Equipment vendors. Waird had recently swapped out Ericsson during their network upgrade to a fully Huawei Powered Network and Airtel Uganda had an Ericsson network.
Reports from reliable sources have now confirmed that Airtel Uganda will swap out Ericsson in favour of equipment from the future proofed Chinese telecom giant Huawei. Warid already had Huawei Equipment for their 2G and 3G network, this makes the marriage more realistic and the swap valid in certain way. Ericsson has totally failed to grasp the economics and politics behind African Telecom market a concept that the Chinese are well conversant with. From their pricing plans to intricate “politicking” behind closed doors. This makes Huawei the only OEM that supplies major network equipment to all big mobile companies in Uganda.