Internet penetration in Uganda at 34.7%

Internet mobile data is King in Uganda and why ISPs should care

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[/blockquote]Internet penetration in Uganda steadily and slowly grew by 0.1% compared to the previous quarter now standing at 37.4% of the population. According to  the Uganda Communication Commission’s (UCC) latest report on Post, Broadcasting and Telecommunications Market and Industry for the financial year 2015/2016 (July-September 2015), Uganda now has a  total of   6,463,479 mobile internet subscriptions. This number shows that there was an increase in Q3 2015 from  6,057,148 subscribers in Q2 2015 representing a 0.07% growth in number of mobile internet subscribers. This minimal growth happened despite the fact that there were no new entrants in telecom sector (we still remain at 36 public service providers) but the number of telecom bases stations increased from 4,079 to 4,111.

The report also indicates that the mobile telephony industry in Uganda grew by 3.4% in the quarter from the previous 2.2%. This means that for both voice and data subscriptions, there was  an increase in the number of  mobile subscribers to 22,646,850 from 21,910,000 subscribers in the previous quarter. UCC always avoid to comment on the individual performance on each carrier, but as we know these numbers will drop in the next report due to the SIM card registration exercise that has seen telecom giants like MTN drop by 3.7 million subscribers by the Q4 2015.

Indicators Q2 2015Q3 2015Change (%)
Estimated Internet Subscription (Mobile)605714864634790.07
Estimated Internet Subscription (Fixed)1225501272000.04
Estimated Internet users12986216130231140.003
Internet Penetration per 100 population37.337.40.1

Internet and data indicators Q2 & Q3 2015

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The total bandwidth grew from 31,222.79 mbps in the previous quarter to 33,408.39 mbps in Q3 2015, resulting into 0.07% growth in bandwidth per one million inhabitants. This means increased network capacity to carry larger volume of information from one location to the next. UCC said that this indirectly leads to improved network performance hence higher speed internet services to internet users.

SMS and Mobile Money grow

The Q2 2015 shows a serious decrease SMS and Voice, but Q3 registered a growth of 0.05% from 691,781,163 SMS to 727,534,070 SMS. In the broadcasting sub-sector, the number of analogue TV stations dropped from 67 to 28, the number of digital terrestrial TV stations, and the number of digital satellite TV stations remained unchanged.

Mobile money services grew from 19.5m to 19.9m subscribers. The number of transactions increased by 11.7% to 185 million transactions from 165 million with the number  mobile money agents growing by 0.09% from 96,463 to 105,304 in Q3.