TELECOMS, RATES, OFFERS AND COVERAGE

Telecoms

Uganda Telecom (UTL) has announced that it has connected the entire northern region of the country to its GSM mobile network, beating a government deadline that required it to cover the region by the end of the year. UTL’s northern regional marketing coordinator, James Mutebi, stated that the network, which operates under the Mango brand name, now extends to southern Sudan and northeastern DR Congo, and is the first to provide coverage to internally displaced refugee camps that had previously been tagged ‘impenetrable’ due to security risks.

The Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) has revealed plans to expand its fixed line and internet services to 18,000 rural communities over the next three years. The plan is part of ETC’s five-year project to expand coverage to the entire country, under which it will install 10,000km of optical fibre lines and replace old communication systems with new technology. There are currently capacity for 30,000 internet connections in Ethiopia, which has a population of around 71 million.

Parliament on Wednesday upheld the tax increase on airtime for cellular mobile phones in Uganda. While reading the budget speech, the Minister of Finance proposed a tax increase to 12% from 10%. When the matter was put to vote, Parliament overwhelmingly supported the increase.