Uganda Telecom (UTL) was placed under an administrator in April 2017 after a fall-out with majority shareholders in Libya. Libya owned 69 per cent while Uganda owned 31 per cent. In February, Libya recalled its directors, leaving Uganda with the burden of keeping the company afloat but the good news is UTL has made a big stride in the journey to regaining its supremacy.
The national telco who accumulated debt of more than Shs700b over the years has with WIOCC today (Tuesday Oct 10) announced a major Internet capacity partnership that will facilitate delivery of more data capacity and faster speeds in the country, while further lowering the cost of the internet to millions of Ugandans.
This deal comes at time when government directed all its Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to outsource airtime and internet services from UTL as a way of revamping the struggling telecom firm.
In a show of confidence, UTL officials today made a commitment that Ugandans would soon enjoy much faster internet access at a greatly lowered cost.
WIOCC is jointly owned by fourteen (14) major African Telecommunications companies including UTL, which was among the main champions of the formation of WIOCC in 2008. UTL’s investment in the Company is enabling it to purchase 7.5 Gigabits per second (Gbps) of Internet connectivity on very competitive commercial terms, allowing the TelCo to pass on cost-efficiencies to consumers in Ugandan.
This partnership between the two companies will boost internet capacity in the short-term and ensure availability of further capacity upgrades in tandem with increases in demand.
“Working with WIOCC in this way gives UTL the ability to implement significant improvements in price, quality and quantity of internet in the country” said UTL’s Otaremwa Otuhumurize
WIOCC provides a range of core wholesale services to carriers, internet service providers (ISPs), overthe-top players (OTTs) and Content Providers throughout Africa. WIOCC’s network is a unique asset integrating more than 55,000km of terrestrial infrastructure with its strategic investments in over
60,000 km of submarine cable assets including the East Africa Submarine System (EASSy), Europe-India
Gateway (EIG) and West Africa Cable System (WACS), as well as capacity on other submarine cable systems linking Africa’s coastline to Europe and the rest of the world. WIOCC is the largest investor in EASSy with a shareholding of 28%.
“WIOCC supports UTL on its transmission backhaul between Mombasa and Kampala” said Mr. James Wekesa, WIOCC’s Chief Commercial Officer. “WIOCC also provides UTL with quick restoration options through alternative routes in case of any interruption in traffic on its fully-redundant connectivity. For UTL, this means being able to deliver reliable and affordable Internet to the whole of Uganda – for Government agencies, corporates, SMEs and homes – through both wireline – e.g. fibre and copper; and wireless technologies,” Mr. Wekesa added.
“The partnership with WIOCC will greatly assist us in meeting this challenge, boosting our ability to deliver high-capacity mobile broadband via our microwave radio, copper and fibre-optic network infrastructure,” said UTL’s Otaremwa Otuhumurize.