Today, Uganda’s communications sector is one of the fastest growing in Africa. As in the rest of the continent, this is largely due to the rapid expansion of mobile telephony. According to statistics from UCC, the number of telephone subscribers had reached 10 million in March 2009 — up from more than 8.7 million in December 2008 — which is about one-third of the country’s population. Majority of the subscriptions (90%) are mobile phone subscribers while others are fixed-line owners (see Figure 1).
There are about 150,000 main landlines installed using UTL or MTN landlines, and about 20 million cellphone subscribers to the MTN, Airtel, Warid Telecom, Orange, K2 telecom, Smile and UTL respectively. The internet country code is .ug
- Telephones – main lines in use: 54,074 (1998)
- Telephones – mobile cellular: 9,000 (1998)
Though in the past years the telephone system was seriously inadequate with a few cellular systems, the telecommunication business has grown to about 8 players who have made a sharp increase in the number of main lines and accessibility to internet based communications; e-mail and Internet services are available.
There is easy intercity traffic by wire, microwave radio relay, and radiotelephone communication stations, fixed and mobile cellular systems for short range traffic international: satellite earth stations.
It is easier and affordable to make calls out of uganda, to several countries. Cheap packages and bundles are available from several service providers for calls to popular destinations such as USA, India, China, United Kingdom etc.
Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) is the country’s regulator of the communications sector. UCC was established in 1998 by the Uganda Communications Act (Cap 106 Laws of Uganda) to facilitate and enable the development of a modern communications sector and infrastructure in the country.
There is a remarkable improvement in the telecommunications sector, both in capacity and distribution. The population coverage for mobile telephony is close to 100 per cent, while geographical coverage is about 65 per cent.