Will Sure Telecom survive Uganda’s saturated Telecomm market?

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Welcome 074

In this crowded telecom space in Uganda today launches another Telco called Sure Telecom . The Singaporean based telecommunication company is officially expected to launch early next year but will start with a soft launch next month in December. We are reliably informed that they already have they already have operations and infrastructure already in place. Its finished constructing base stations around Kampala and a switch house at Kibuli. This comes from some internal sources within  the company, the Telco is set to invest close to $400 millions in its operation and is rolling out slowly. Starting with greater Kampala areas then other regions will follow suit. There also rumors of them working with one of the existing telecos for a national roaming agreement to enable them launch with a “country wide coverage” effect.

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The Telco will use the 074 prefix and the sad part is that they launch at a time when competition is very stiff. The voice segment is almost saturated with an estimated mobile and fixed line subscriber base of around 13 million Ugandans. Telcom companies are now looking at the data segment, mobile money and other services to up their revenues.  This comes at a time when the ARPU {Average Revenue per User} is declining for most Telcos. So Sure Telecom enters a market where competition rules.  It will stand against competition from MTN, Airtel which recently acquired another operator Warid Telecom, Orange, Uganda Telecom, smile telecom,k2,Itel among others. The fate of UTL is still uncertain as rumor has it there are several bidders for Uganda’s oldest telecom company.


Sure telecom is expected to launch a 3G network utilizing the the standard 2100MHz band

The telecom sector provides unprecedented opportunities and of course challenges. The ongoing price wars, increased dropped and blocked calls, high costs of maintaining telecom sites, increased tariffs, poor infrastructure among others prove a challenge to new entrants such as sure telecom. But some solutions are already on ground like site sharing building
infrastructure and also penetration of rural markets as the urban and semi-urban areas get saturated. This has left many Telcos with no option but to tap the rural market and I think Sure is expected to follow.

According to a Sure telecom employee I managed to talk to, she said the carrier will focus on mobile telephony and data services 3G technology and later fixed landlines so Uganda telecom tighten your belt. This will once again drive competition and it will bolster growth in the sector. Some other operators like Smile, MTN and Orange have already launched 4G LTE services and I think consumers will anticipate Sure telecom just like others to do so as they seek to expand their revenues. This leaves Sure telecom with many challenges  but also proves an avenue for it to develop as these segments are characterized with poor services from some of the operators. Sure telecom is expected to launch a 3G network utilizing the the standard 2100MHz band.

Sure telecom follows K2, which recently launched its operations at the beginning of the year and also it has launched at a time of tough economic woes. This supplements the above challenges but with time it will catch up . It has come with voice and data offers that they think will be competitive. The company is rolling out slowly but steadily so it won’t be too long before you hear about it in your respective localities. Whether they will survive Uganda’s telecom storm, only time will tell.