2016 Wrap UP: How Vodafone, Africell, Smile and Smart Telecom performed.

7755
12531
The official logos of Vodafone, Smile, Smart and Africell.

HiPipo Digital Team.

As highlighted in our previous review titled ‘Airtel vs MTN: The 2016 Scorecard with Winners and Losers!’, 2016 was a ‘roller coaster’ year in all aspects.  A lot happened including the unprecedented Donald J Trump victory over the media favorite and pollsters’ president in waiting Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton during the November 8th USA Presidential Elections. Trump will be sworn in on 20th January as the 45th American president.

In Uganda, the telecommunication industry witnessed several battles in form of price wars, bundled services competition, PR and Advertising supremacy plus product and services rivalry. While Airtel and MTN were competing for the leading telecom position in the pearl of Africa, the other telecoms were positioning themselves as both the better and best alternatives for customers.  In a nutshell, minus trying to woo new and ‘mobile virgin’ customers, Vodafone, Africell, Smart and Smile increased efforts intended to retain their existing subscribers plus winning over customers discontented with both Airtel and MTN plus the sleeping giant – Uganda Telecom.

At HiPipo, we followed the operations of Africell, Vodafone, Smart and Smile in 2016. Here is an analysis of their performance in the just ended year.

Africell Uganda: 2016 was a good year for Africell Uganda. Not only did their market share continue to grow, their brand visibility and awareness multiplied.

africell-one-billion-promo

For a bigger part of the year, the Africell team involved in intense and nonstop below the line (BTL) promotions and activations mainly pushing their ‘King of the Bundle’ offering. They were in all main trade centers, university bazaars, markets, and roundabouts. Through this, their products and service propositions got more popular among potential customers.

While at that, Africell also entered the entertainment market through signing on board two brand ambassadors in the names of David Lutalo (2016 HiPipo Music Awards Artist of the Year) and Sheebah Karungi (2016 HiPipo Music Awards Best Female Artist). Among the informal sector, mass and emerging markets; David Lutalo has been the biggest artiste for the past two-three years. Having him as their brand ambassador in 2016 helped Africell appeal to the informal, mass and emerging audience.

On the other hand, Sheebah has been the best female artiste in Uganda for the past three years and one of the best female artistes across East Africa. Additionally, she was one of the top 5 Ugandan artistes for 2016. Her music appeals to the young, youth, mass and emerging plus a growing section of corporates. Again, she helped Africell reach out to a bigger audience in 2016.

In the last quarter of 2016, Africell embarked on a One Billion Promo; Load Airtime and Win campaign. It was climaxed at Nakivubo Stadium in mid-December with one lucky Ugandan walking away with UGX 1,000,000,000 (one billion shillings). It was a first of its kind promotion. Unluckily, due to the huge grand prize, many didn’t believe the campaign. Even when a winner was announced at Nakivubo stadium and issued with a 1 billion cheque, several people with a ‘doubting Thomas’ attitude said it was impossible. Pragmatically, the promotion never had the expected public excitement.

From different online and offline discussions with Africell Customers, the company’s Voice and Data services were okay. In 2016, it recharged and re-launched its mobile financial services – Africell Money. It is too early to rate the latter.

Final Verdict: Africell had a good 2016.

Vodafone: From its brand name, Vodafone is not supposed to be in this category (promising Telecos) but rather should be competing toe to toe with MTN and Airtel. Even though Vodafone is a big brand world over, it is yet to have its major big breakthrough in Uganda. That said, it had a very encouraging 2016 and here is why.

First, Vodafone in 2016 worked closely with the tourism sector and elaborately encouraged tourism players to embrace new technology for the long run development of the tourism industry.  Secondly, Vodafone also worked closely with the youth. Through its CEO, Vodafone Uganda committed to supporting young entrepreneurs and innovators in 2016 and in the future.

vodafone-uganda-i-create-tomorrow-winners

In the same year, Vodafone ran the #ICreateTomorrow challenge that had three winners ( artist and student Darsan Ainembabazi, filmmaker Chris Lutanga and health care administrator Cathy Namubiru) travelling to London for business/career mentor-ship, exposure and tourism. All these rotated around one thing; creating, and exploring opportunities for developing both Ugandans and Vodafone business in Uganda.

From its activities, it is clear that Vodafone in 2016 shifted focus from both Voice and Data to mainly Data. The latter is with no doubt its strength.  Vodafone Uganda’s focus on data sales was further boosted by its launch of the Vodafone Chat+ APP. The APP allows customers to make and receive ‘truly FREE HD quality app-to-app voice calls and send FREE messages to other Vodafone Chat+ customers’ among other benefits. The Vodafone Chat+ APP is part of the company’s Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) prioritization over traditional voice calls. This shift by Vodafone Uganda was highly informed by the fact that Voice Service Provision is very crowded with both MTN and Airtel dominating. Plus, revenues from Voice continue to drop in most parts of the world.

But as a low for its customers, the company phased-out its popular unlimited data bundle offering. The unlimited data bundles were some of the most used service by its customers. A Vodafone Uganda Tweet in September noted: “Oh yes, the unlimited packs are no more ….. but let’s stay optimistic. New packages on the way, watch the space.”

And that was not all. Just like Airtel and MTN, Vodafone Uganda got a new CEO in 2016.

vodafone-uganda-new-ceo-john-ndego

John Ndego was appointed the new Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Uganda with effect from 11 July 2016, replacing Allan Richardson, who the company noted had ‘returned to the Afrimax Group office in preparation for the next market launches following the recent launch of operations in Ghana and Zambia’. John Ndego has just made five months at the helm of Vodafone Uganda. It is too early to assess his performance. We wish him the very best of luck.

In all; with key focus on Data, Vodafone Uganda continued to position itself as the ideal Innovation Enabler committed to growing its business but also ensuring that Ugandans use technology to create a better world for themselves.  The fact that in 2016, Vodafone Uganda continued to interact with and strategically support small and medium enterprises, the Youth, Education and Tourism sectors increased its ratings as a brand committed to bettering lives of common Ugandans.

Final Verdict: Good 2016. We wait for bigger and better things from Vodafone in 2017.

Smile Communications Uganda: Since its entry in to the Uganda market in 2009, Smile Communications has showed signals of becoming the next big thing but it flattered to deceive most times.  At its launch, it looked a game changer of sorts rolling out a low- cost proposition that would enable Ugandans who neither owned nor afforded mobile phones to make cheaper calls easily. This sounded great but never materialized at the implementation level. Then came the 4G crazy. Smile was among the first two telecoms to announce 4G data offers in Uganda. This was another great offer but again, its limited coverage across Uganda hampered it altogether!

smile-uganda-ceo-md-ucc

Away from the past, in 2016, Smile Communications fared well, showing signs of strength. Among the cool things it offered in 2016 included the introduction of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service, Smile Voice APP, rearranging of its data bundles validity and costs. But the bigger of these all was Smile Communication’s introduction of the unlimited Data bundle. While Vodafone Uganda phased this out, Smile introduced it on the market. To internet users, such developments are sweet food to ears as they get more cheaper alternatives to enjoy the internet.

Lastly from Smile Communications, its brand visibility and advertising increased in 2016 when compared to 2015. They were more on TV, Radio, and Online Media. This is all good stuff for any brand.

Final Verdict: Smile Communications improved in 2016. Hope they can keep the momentum.

Smart Telecom: 2016 was at one time a busy year and later a quiet year for Smart Telecom. Among the things they continued to do well was the offering of some of the cheapest and stable data to their customers (100 MBs valid for a day at UGX 1000).

Smart Telecom’s highlight of the year was its entry into the mobile financial services (MFS) ecosystem with the launch of Smart Pesa. Smart PESA allows Smart Telecom Customers to ‘send money to on-net and off-net customers, deposit cash in and withdraw cash from your Smart Pesa wallet, top up airtime for your own account and that of others and request  others to send you money through Smart Pesa’.

smart-pesa-launch

Their biggest undoing was the end of year commotions with Uganda Communications Commission (UCC). In mid-December 2016, Smart Telecom was among the three telecoms whose licenses were revoked by UCC and the regulator warned the public against doing any business with them. A few days later, Smart Telecom License was renewed after settling its matters with the regulator. The revocation tainted their image and affected customers’ confidence.

Final Verdict: Business wise, it was a progressive Year for Smart Telecom. A bad PR year ending. 

Conclusion.

To date, these four telecoms are still below Airtel and MTN Uganda in market share, revenue and other important good performance indicators.  Nonetheless in 2016, they covered a lot of ground and had many gains. Even though they are not where they wish to be yet, there are again not where they were in 2015.  We are optimistic that in 2017, two of Vodafone, Africell, Smart and Smile will give the bigger boys a run for their money and hopefully ‘break even’.

Again, HiPipo Digital Team wishes you a great 2017 filled with landmark accomplishments!

Content Director: Nicholas Kalungi

CEO: Innocent Kawooya.

7755 COMMENTS

  1. Taxi moto line
    128 Rue la Boétie
    75008 Paris
    +33 6 51 612 712  

    Taxi moto paris

    Hello there, I discovered your web site by the use of Google while searching for a comparable subject, your website came up, it seems
    to be good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hello there, simply became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative.
    I’m gonna be careful for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you happen to proceed this in future.
    Numerous other people shall be benefited out of your writing.
    Cheers!

  2. « Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the simplest thing tobe aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people consider worries that they just don’t know about.You managed to hit the nail upon the top and definedout the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal.Will likely be back to get more. Thanks »

  3. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I
    could add to my blog that automatically tweet
    my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for
    a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some
    experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything.
    I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to
    your new updates.

  4. After going over a handful of the blog posts on your site, I really appreciate
    your technique of blogging. I saved as a favorite
    it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future.
    Please check out my web site as well and tell me your opinion.

  5. Thanks for your strategies. One thing really noticed is that often banks plus financial institutions know the dimensions and spending patterns of consumers plus understand that plenty of people max outside their cards around the trips. They correctly take advantage of this real fact and then start flooding a person’s inbox plus snail-mail box by using hundreds of no interest APR credit cards offers shortly when the holiday season closes. Knowing that when you are like 98% in the American general public, you’ll get at the one opportunity to consolidate financial debt and switch balances towards 0 rate credit cards. poonmpp https://headachemedi.com – new cluster headache drug

  6. Thanks for your tips. One thing we have noticed is always that banks and also financial institutions have in mind the spending behavior of consumers and also understand that a lot of people max away their own credit cards around the holiday seasons. They prudently take advantage of this kind of fact and begin flooding the inbox and also snail-mail box together with hundreds of Zero APR card offers immediately after the holiday season finishes. Knowing that in case you are like 98% of all American open public, you’ll hop at the opportunity to consolidate personal credit card debt and move balances for 0 interest rates credit cards. fffeegk https://thyroidmedi.com – best thyroid medication

  7. Thanks for your ideas. One thing I have noticed is that banks and financial institutions know the spending habits of consumers and understand that most people max out their credit cards around the holidays. They wisely take advantage of this fact and start flooding your inbox and snail-mail box with hundreds of 0 APR credit card offers soon after the holiday season ends. Knowing that if you are like 98% of the American public, you’ll jump at the chance to consolidate credit card debt and transfer balances to 0 APR credit cards. aaaaaaa https://stomachmedi.com – stomach pain meds

  8. I’m extremely impressed along with your writing abilities and
    also with the format on your blog. Is that this a paid topic or did you modify it yourself?
    Anyway stay up the nice quality writing, it is rare to look a
    nice blog like this one these days.. games ps4 allenferguson games ps4

  9. Have you ever considered writing an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs?
    I have a blog based on the same ideas you discuss and would
    love to have you share some stories/information. I
    know my audience would appreciate your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

  10. I think this is one of the most important info for me.
    And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The web site style is ideal, the
    articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers

  11. Tremendous issues here. I’m very satisfied to see your post.
    Thanks so much and I’m looking forward to contact you.
    Will you kindly drop me a mail?

  12. Howdy! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out
    and tell you I really enjoy reading through your posts.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with
    the same subjects? Thanks!

  13. Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Thank you

  14. Is generic sildenafil as good as viagra without a doctor prescription from canada paypal. Generic Viagra, sildenafil citrate, works the word-for-word as buy viagra sildenafil store viagra without a doctor prescription but at a cut cost. While Pfizer up till manufactures the “small x pill,” other companies, globally and in the Collective States, give rise to sildenafil that may look weird but is still an operational treatment for erectile dysfunction.

  15. Do I have to possess a period to start enchanting Clomid? At one of the more frustrating parts of hither taking clomiphene is having to deferred in return a menstrual period to start the medications. Traditionally, Clomid is started on the 3rd or 5th day of the menstrual cycle, and it is not uncommon for the benefit of doctors to proscribe progesterone-like medication to bring on the patch in front starting fertility drugs.

  16. I think this is among the most important information for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on some general things, The web site style is great, the articles is really nice :
    D. Good job, cheers

  17. I am really enjoying the theme/design of your blog.
    Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues?
    A small number of my blog readers have complained about my website not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox.
    Do you have any solutions to help fix this problem?

  18. Do I need a recipe as regards tadalafil. Since where to buy cialis cheap is just to hand on direction, you’ll need to pure an online consultation with an undecided physician in advance of your form is shipped. If you’re a tolerable prospect, you’ll come into a valid direction with a view can you buy cialis online.

  19. May I simply say what a relief to uncover somebody that really understands what they’re talking about on the internet.
    You certainly realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    A lot more people need to check this out and understand this side of the story.
    I can’t believe you are not more popular because you surely
    have the gift. 0mniartist asmr

  20. An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment.
    I do believe that you need to write more on this subject, it might not be
    a taboo matter but typically people do not talk about such
    topics. To the next! Best wishes!!

  21. I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your weblog. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues?

    A number of my blog visitors have complained about my site not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome.

    Do you have any suggestions to help fix this issue?

  22. Hello! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate
    your content. Please let me know. Cheers

  23. Just wish to say your article is as astounding.
    The clarity in your publish is simply excellent
    and that i could think you’re an expert in this subject. Fine together with your permission let me to take hold of your feed to stay up to date with impending post.
    Thanks one million and please carry on the rewarding work.

  24. You are so interesting! I don’t believe I’ve read through a single thing like this before. So wonderful to find another person with a few unique thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This website is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!

  25. all the time i used to read smaller articles that as well clear their motive, and that is also happening with this post which I am reading at this time.

  26. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board
    and I find It truly useful & it helped me out much.

    I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

  27. After looking over a handful of the articles on your web page, I really like
    your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark site list and
    will be checking back soon. Take a look at my web site too and tell me what you think.

  28. I really like what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work and exposure!

    Keep up the very good works guys I’ve you guys to my own blogroll.

  29. Whats up this is kind of of off topic but I was wanting to know if
    blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so
    I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  30. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life websites and blogs

  31. scoliosis
    I’ve been browsing on-line more than 3 hours as of late, yet
    I by no means discovered any fascinating article like yours.
    It’s lovely value sufficient for me. Personally, if all site owners and bloggers made just right content material as you probably did,
    the web shall be much more useful than ever before. scoliosis

  32. scoliosis
    What’s up to all, the contents present at this web page are truly amazing for people experience, well, keep up the good work fellows.
    scoliosis

  33. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl authors and blogs

  34. dating sites
    Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is valuable and everything. But just imagine if you added
    some great visuals or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with images and video clips,
    this site could undeniably be one of the very best in its niche.
    Superb blog! free dating sites

  35. scoliosis
    Very good blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you propose starting with a free platform like
    Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed ..
    Any ideas? Cheers! scoliosis

  36. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs

  37. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life authors and blogs

  38. of course like your web-site however you need to check
    the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very
    troublesome to tell the reality on the other hand I’ll certainly come again again.

  39. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs

  40. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this website.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s tough to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and visual appearance.
    I must say that you’ve done a awesome job with this.
    Additionally, the blog loads super fast for me on Firefox.
    Excellent Blog!

  41. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to
    your blog? My blog site is in the exact same niche as yours and my visitors would
    certainly benefit from a lot of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this okay with you.
    Thanks a lot!

  42. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs

  43. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life authors and blogs

  44. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life websites and blogs

  45. I blog frequently and I really thank you for your content. This
    great article has really peaked my interest.

    I will take a note of your site and keep checking for new information about once a week.
    I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

  46. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl articles and blogs

  47. After going over a number of the blog articles on your
    web site, I seriously like your way of blogging.
    I book marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future.
    Please visit my web site too and tell me your opinion.

  48. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I will
    bookmark your blog and check again here frequently.
    I’m quite certain I’ll learn lots of new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  49. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.

    I will bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently.

    I’m quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

  50. Schlusselnotdienst Tripkau – Kreis Luchow-Dannenberg (29451) – Tag & Nacht Turoffnungen![Url=https://schluesseldienst-service24h.de/tripkau-kreis-luechow-dannenberg-29451/]Schlusseldienst Tripkau – Kreis Luchow-Dannenberg (29451) – Turoffnung Schlusselnotdienst[/url] Schlusseldienst Tripkau – Kreis Luchow-Dannenberg (29451) – Turoffnung Schlusselnotdienst Ausgesperrt? Schlusseldienst service 24/7 Tripkau / Kreis Luchow/Dannenberg hilft schnell & zuverlassig bei Turoffnungen: – 0157 9246 5509 ? Wir kommen sofort! Ihr Spezialist fur Schlusselnotdienst in 29451 Tripkau / Kreis Luchow/Dannenberg.

  51. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life authors and blogs

  52. You’re so awesome! I do not believe I have read through a single thing like that before.
    So nice to discover another person with original thoughts on this topic.

    Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is one
    thing that is required on the internet, someone with a
    little originality! http://droga5.net/

  53. Kết Trái Futsal Việt Nam Vs LebanontructiephdTheo thể thức thi đấu, đội thắng ở cặp đấu này sẽ giành tấm vé đến Lithuania vào ngày hội bóng đá lớn nhất thế giới mang đến futsal. Tuyển futsal Việt Nam bước vào trận play-off lượt đi tranh vé dự play-off World Cup 2021 với sự tự tin. Tuy vậy, HLV Phạm Minh Giang bày tỏ, toàn đội không ngán Lebanon song sẽ tìm cách để khắc chế sức mạnh của đối thủ bởi bên trên băng ghế huấn luyện là nhà cầm quân Ramiro Lopez, người từng dẫn dắt futsal Tây Ban Nha.|Dựa vào lịch tranh tài, bạn có thể sắp xếp làm việc