We have had a great year with Uganda’s biggest telecommunication company and indeed it has come a long way in the past couple years. It has moved onto the top shelf of the Uganda’s telecom sector because it made a good brand proposition since the days of Celtel Uganda trying to focus on top-notch services for Ugandans at affordable price when they removed service fees. That means things like interconnecting the unconnected to both their voice and data networks in Uganda is one of MTN Uganda’s core goals while endeavoring to compete in Uganda’s cut-throat telecom market.
We like a lot of the changes and annual events MTN Uganda has done this year and some may urge that there aren’t a lot of wrong turns being made. MTN Uganda needs to keep doing what it’s doing, for the most part.
1. LTE Advanced
When MTN reloaded its 4G-LTE network this year, they came back with a bang, with a shiny new LTE network that made it the only carrier to reach over 100 Mbps speeds on any 4G compartible mobile device. But is this enough? Some would say it is since data prices still remain the same as speeds get faster making it seem like a gonya (data hogging) situation. So, what about we balance both, a reduce price per mega byte with an even faster network to reach speeds up to 300-450 Mbps. This is what is called LTE -Advanced. Already equipped with 2G, 3G and 4G-LTE, we believe MTN is one of the few carriers in Uganda that can pull this off, that’s if it makes business sense for them.
2. More Mobile money innovations
This is one of the company’s biggest cash cow, and they have to retain their stronghold on this. With an average of over 1,8 trillion Mobile Money transactions in 2015, we believe MTN can open up their APIs to more start-ups not to stifle tech innovation in Uganda. This is not only limited to those that have been successful in the MTN App challenge, but to other starts-up with great and bright ideas that can make it to commercial market. We also expect the MTN to introduce tap and pay solutions using mobile money in the near future. Ohh also not forgetting having a more reliable mobile money network.
3. Beyond the MTN Marathon
Cooperate social responsibilities (CSR) are integral part of any big company, as they are a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. MTN has over the years given back to the poor and the needy through CSRs, but perhaps the biggest is the MTN Marathon. We believe it just doesn’t stop there. We expect more of such events in order for MTN to further cement its leadership in the telecom space.
4. Network Quality of Service
Dropped calls, Dropped calls, Dropped calls! This is not only unique to MTN but to all telecoms. MTN needs to further engineer its network to reduce this consumer nightmare, by further improving its quality of service (QoS). After the departure of Orange Uganda, MTN seemed to take over the lead as the network with the best QoS according to UCC. In 2016 we’d like to see a better and more improved network.
5. Unlimited Data bundle
Smile, Africell, Smart Telecom and Vodafone all have some form of unlimited data bundle. And, its such bundles that have lured, people like with high affinity for data to switch data carriers. MTN needs to go back to the drawing table and get this ball rolling. With the total voice revenues on the decline in Uganda, telecos should find ways of capturing the data market or even retain their existing clientele and we believe an “all you can eat buffet” of data is one of those ways you can lure new clients to your network.
Those are just on top of our wish list. What do you think MTN needs to work on in 2016 and beyond? MTN Uganda is one of those companies that reads and listens to user feedback. Feed them.