After the 3G mobile network is almost at parity between the big telecom players, there is still disparity in areas far from the city. Airtel is rolling out 154 sites of its own in an attempt to grow their 3G network and they have started with Nakasongola district. According to a recent Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Q2 2017 market report, the total number of Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) also commonly known as sites increased during the quarter by 1.2% from 4,207 to 4,259. In the previous quarter, a growth of 0.8% was registered.
“This initiative of rolling out 154 sites in Uganda ensures that when we complete this roll-out, Airtel will be the largest telecom network in Uganda” VG Somasekhar MD Airtel Uganda said a press briefing yesterday.
“The benefits of telecommunications which is available in urban cities like Kampala, Nairobi, Lagos, New york or any other city, the same benefit should available to rural areas like Nakasongola,” he added.
79 percent of is rural and the strategy here for Uganda’s smartphone network is to extend its coverage in rural areas that have long been neglected by other telecoms mainly due to financial feasibility. Lack of cheap hydro-electric power, poor accessibility and most importantly a scattered population in rural areas have always been some of the reasons why telecom companies in Uganda shun expanding their networks to more rural settings. With several tower sharing companies owning the tower infrastructure, telecoms can roll-out sites jointly and at at a faster rater.