MTN Uganda Calls for Industry Consolidation


The head of MTN's Uganda has called for consolidation in the local market in order for the industry to grow, become more efficient and for business to be sustainable. Uganda currently has six mobile networks, and MTN Uganda's CEO, Themba Khumalo says that needs to be halved. Themba Khumalo took over the top job at MTN Uganda last year, after running MTN's operations in Rwanda for two years.

"The state of equilibrium could be around three operators running effectively and competing effectively in the marketplace to help grow the economy of Uganda," Themba Khumalo told Reuters in an interview. He added that MTN would consider absorbing competitors to expand if opportunities arose.

The country ended June with around 10.2 million subscribers, representing a population penetration level of 31%. Based on figures from the Mobile World analysts, the country's six live mobile network operators and their market shares are: MTN Uganda (58.2%); Zain (19.2%); UTL Telecel (11.8%); Warid Telecom/Essar Uganda (6.6%) and Orange Uganda (4.2%). Reliance Uganda has a negligible customer base.

MTN Uganda invested a total of US$125 million in upgrades in 2009 and as is spending a further US$110 million this year, Khumalo added.