MTN Uganda Continues to play a major role in Digital and Financial Inclusion, Management urges UCC to keep leading operator in a close communication relation.



MTN Uganda continues its Leadership, Investment and Contribution to the socio-economic development of Uganda”.

MTN Uganda had a great achievements despite the few challenges that team faced as we close 2014. “As MTN Group, we are one of the biggest 5 operations in the world, the only one that has operated for 15 years in Uganda with the same name.” said Brian Gouldie.

 “Our data platform stabilized, we reported no failures by customers to use mobile money during the much anticipated high traffic Christmas season.” He added this morning during a press brief at the MTN Towers.

MTN Uganda today boosts of 10.4 million subscribers. Its market share increased by 56.8% and the revenue increased by 6.8% for the year of 2014. Data and mobile money were the main contributors to this growth, as voice services’ competition keeps growing with new players coming in.

MTN Uganda has at least 3.2 active mobile money subscribers, this is a great milestone as the struggle to embrace financial inclusion continues.

Over 3.4 million users consume MTN data regularly, with 30% (700,000) making use of 3G data and the rest are still on 2G. MTN is taking a major responsibility to increase 3G usage, and improve quality of service. In 2014 alone, MTN invested at least 146 billion shillings to improve its network and quality of service. The telecom giant is still investing in 2G technology, MTN at least spent 26 billion UGX in 2G technology maintenance and improvement in order to serve a national role.

Yesterday, MTN Uganda announced the Group Performance Report that highlighted the key achievements of the MTN Group and MTN Uganda results for the year ended 2014.

For over 16 years, MTN has consistently invested in the future potential of Uganda. The investment has transcended across the network and its accompanying infrastructure, employment, the brand, business and entrepreneurship as well as continued investment in communities across Uganda. MTN’s ownership has also remained consistent over this period which has created stability and affirms our commitment to Uganda.

We are happy to report that we were able to achieve a 100% roll out of 157 2G sites and 140 co-located 3G sites. MTN Uganda invested to the tune of over 94 billion shillings in its network infrastructure, with the primary objective of increasing access to data in Uganda coupled with increased access to affordable 3G handsets to facilitate a steady migration from 2G to 3G technology, for a richer customer experience. 

MTN Uganda registered a positive performance for the year ending 31 December 2014, increasing its subscriber base by 18% to 10.4 million. This increase was driven by a growth in the uptake of bundled voice products, improved 3G coverage and an increased take up of MTN Mobile Money. Total revenue increased by 6, 8%, supported by a 36, 6% increase in data revenue. By year end, data contributed 9% to total revenue. MTN Mobile Money continued to perform well and recorded a 40, 9% increase in registered subscribers to 7, 3 million.  Mobile Money usage was stimulated by a wider mobile payment product range and a new enhanced technology platform.

MTN Uganda also took a bold step and partnered with Ericsson to invest over 14 billion Uganda shillings in the implementation of the biggest financial system migration project in Uganda. The primary objective of this project was to improve Customer experience and ensure the stability and security of the Mobile Money financial service for all Ugandans. This fuelled the increase in our Mobile Money subscriber base which resulted in Mobile Money revenues becoming our 2nd biggest revenue stream.

In line with our commitment to providing value driven solutions to our customers, MTN partnered with Jubilee Insurance to provide much needed life insurance, at affordable rates, to ordinary Ugandans through the MTN Life care insurance offer.

We were also able to open 17 fully kitted Service Centres and Connect Stores which we believe will bring our full complement of services closer to communities across Uganda. In our effort to extend our reach and make it convenient for Ugandan’s to access our services, MTN and its partners operates 16 Connect Stores that offer similar services to those offered in MTN Service Centres.

In addition, we have invested in a mobile service centre with the primary intent of reaching more customers in remote areas. We have also contracted over 122 Retail outlets to distribute MTN products and services, in line with the intent to increase access to our offering. With the largest 24/7/365 Customer contact centre, with over 500 staff, speaking in more than 7 languages; MTN is dedicated to ensuring that our customers’ queries are resolved in the shortest time possible.

In partnership with the UCC, MTN Uganda took the lead and implemented the first ever Content Management and Billing solution to empower customers to block or unsubscribe spam messages through a Do-Not-Disturb service using the short code *196#. This has resulted in an improved overall customer experience.

In addition MTN has implemented the UCC directive to harmonise its Short Codes to *130* and *131#.  This harmonisation process will take several months with the old codes continuing to be in operation, whilst MTN embarks on an intensive and nationwide customer education campaign aimed at ensuring that all its customers are aware of the changes and do not have their services disrupted whilst this migration happens.

MTN continued to meet its annual financial obligations to the Rural Communications Development Fund (RCDF), an initiative of the UCC that is aimed at the digitisation of rural Uganda.

MTN Uganda has continuously complied with its tax obligations, winning several awards over the years from the Uganda Revenue Authority, as the largest revenue contributor in the country. In addition MTN Uganda is also committed to corporate governance and high ethical standards with a zero tolerance policy towards fraud and corruption.

In 2015, MTN Uganda will continue to take its leadership seriously and leverage the MTN Group resources and capabilities to benefit Uganda. This will enable us to continue to invest in the best network infrastructure and systems, enabling a world class customer experience for our customers.

Our key focus areas in 2015 will be:

  • Enabling increased access to Data services through the continued investment in the 3G network
  • Driving increased financial inclusion through a seamless and secure Mobile Money experience
  • The introduction of affordable 3G devices to enrich our customers mobile experience 
  • Developing deeper and more meaningful partnerships with SMEs
  • Enabling increased access to digital platforms to facilitate self-service
  • Continue to care for Communities through our CSR initiatives

MTN Uganda is committed to Uganda, enriching the lives of its people and its continued development in line with our Brand promise to deliver a bold new digital world to Uganda.

In other developments, Brian Gouldie briefed the press about the recent UCC statement that fined MTN Uganda to a tune of 5 Billion Uganda shillings, saying “We have been in negotiations with the regulator (UCC) since 2007 and in all the discussions we talked about harmonization of the short codes to 130 and 131 and our stand has always been that our customers come first and changing the codes would affect customer experience,”.

“They had allowed us to continue with the codes but when we wrote to them on February 3, 2015 requesting for a meeting in regards to the same, UCC postponed all meetings with MTN indefinitely pending our reaction to instantly implement the new short codes. We request for a very constructive relationship between the leading operator (MTN Uganda) and the Regulator (UCC).” Brian added.