85% of new mobile phone connections are connected to the Internet – UCC

At least 85% of new mobile phone connections are internet-enabled, according to details from the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC).

UCC data indicates that in the third quarter of 2021, of the 200,000 new mobile connections, 170,000 were data-enabled connections, driving growth in internet subscriptions.

During the period, a UCC report says, Internet subscriptions broke through the 22 million mark for the first time from 21 million.

This growth means that at least one in two Ugandans has an active internet connection, representing a penetration of 52%.

The UCC also noted that high broadband connectivity is being driven by the continued shift to low-cost Internet-enabled data entry gadgets, pushed by both mobile network operators and independent handset importers.

“During the period under review, the market again saw continued partnerships between mobile network operators selling top brands. These partnerships included bonus data offers to drive demand,” UCC noted, saying that on a year-over-year comparison, growth in broadband connections is similar to that seen in landline and cellular subscriptions.

Over the period, broadband subscriptions increased by 1.9 million – an increase of 10% – in September 2021 compared to September 2020.

The growth of Internet subscriptions in a digital economy has also provided a revenue stream to telecommunications, as evidenced by demand for data.

For example, a report from Airtel, which recorded data revenue growth of 31%, shows that this was largely due to an increase in the telecommunications data customer base and growth in the use of data during the period.

Airtel’s data usage per customer per month stood at 2.6 gigabytes, up 44% year-on-year, while smartphone penetration rose to 9.4 million. devices across the country.

Telecoms have invested in connectivity with MTN and Airtel, which currently share at least more than 90%, pledging millions of dollars in investment to bolster the country’s internet infrastructure.

Mr. Wim Vanhelleputte, chief executive of MTN, announced early last month that the telecommunications company would commit $300 million (about 1 trillion shillings) over a three-year period – which started last year – to consolidate its services across Uganda, with the aim of maintaining the country. broadband policy.

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