For those who know me personally, must know am an online and social communicating freak let alone i hate receiving or initiating phone calls as I always prefer instant messaging. It is true that revenues from SMS have reduced drastically with the advent of Smartphones and IM Chat apps like Kik or WhatsApp. And most Ugandans have gradually been converted from traditional and expensive texting to Chatting over WhatsApp as the charges were less. Let not forget the massive local content on YouTube, the constant social networking we see on Facebook and Twitter have lead to the increase of internet usage in the country.
Uganda currently ranks 16th in internet usage in Africa, as since the carriers get no dime from the content publishers like YouTube they left with no choice but squeeze their subscribers every last penny by charging more for access to the internet. In a nutshell the carriers want to share part of this ‘internet cake’, and in reaction MTN Uganda and Airtel Uganda have within a period of a month increased their data charges aka bundles. Most Airtel subscribers woke up yesterday only to find out that the tariffs had been hiked. I only hope the constant WhatApp messages won’t reduce with these slight data tariff increments.
Okay lets try to break down the Airtel increase, now users will get 100 MB instead of 250 MB for UGX 2000($0.79) for 24 hours. Monthly data bundles have also been cut down from 150 MB to 125 MB for UGX 5000($1.98). Now that MTN and Airtel have increased their bundles we wait to see what the data leading ISP Orange will do next. From the table below Orange is seems to give you more for your money and as well more speed as we found out in our recent survey provider among the three.
Social media goes into a frenzy
As we expected the mobile subscribers are not happy with the cheapest internet provider suddenly becoming the most expensive over night, as we can see a twit from Amanya below.
The question on everyone’s mind is whether the prices will stabilize or to expect further increments in data prices. In the meantime we are constrained to go with the carrier flow and hope for the best, but I wonder for how long?