TELECOMS

New Telecom company Launches in Uganda

The first fully Ugandan-owned telecom firm, i-Telecom, has launched its services. Operating on code 076, i-Telecom, worth an initial investment of $30m, becomes the sixth operator after Zain, MTN, Orange, Warid and utl.

The new firm will provide both voice and data services on the CDMA channel platform. Augustus Mulenga, the chief executive officer, said they did a pre-launch on December 6, 2008 where the firm gave out 1,000 phones to potential clients. "Because of the statements from the customers in the last 11 months, who say the phones are working, that is why we are launching today," said Mulenga.

Brochures from the company indicated that local call rates would range from sh150 to sh250 for peak and off peak hours while international calls will cost sh350. Mulenga said he conceived the idea of a telecom company in 2006. The firm was granted a licence from Uganda Communications Commission in 2007.

"By December last year, there was a signal and we had five sites. We then started the roll-out programme in the western districts of Rukungiri, Ntungamo and Mbarara."

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