Telecommunications company, Vodafone has lauded Uganda for putting in place a favorable telecom regulatory environment that has made Uganda one of the most preferred investment hubs in the East African region.
In an interview with this newspaper at Vodafone offices in Kololo, Derrick Sebbaale, Chief Technical Officer commended Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) for the favourable regulatory environment that has portrayed Uganda as a good investment place for investors in the telecommunication and ICT sector.
“I believe Uganda’s regulatory environment is conducive and this is evidenced by the number of players in this market. Despite the few exits the market has seen, I can say, the larger part of the industry is pleased with the way the industry is regulated,” Sebbaale said last week, adding that as investors, their major interest in a regulated business environment is predictability as this helps in planning for investments.”
“For new telecos like Vodafone, this is particularly important in ensuring that possible obstacles from existing players in the market are minimized allowing for an even playing field. We strongly believe it will enable us to succeed in delivering our promise to our customers and shareholders,” he added.
Vodafone Uganda launched its voice and 4G LTE high-speed data services in February this year. The data services are available in Kampala and Entebbe but the company plans to rapidly expand its 4G footprint to other cities. Customers outside Kampala & Entebbe can, for now, access 2G and 3G services.
Vodafone’s data price ranges from Ugx 5, 000 per day and Ugx 149,000 per month. For this price, customers can enjoy unlimited downloads, surfing and streaming at great speeds.
With many telecoms launching in different parts of Africa, Uganda occupies a strategic position because of a large young workforce and the push for improving competitiveness. “Business competitiveness is rapidly becoming the new global currency,” he said.
Uganda’s ICT sector is one of the most vibrant within the region and fastest growing sector in the economy. This vibrancy hinges largely on the good legal and regulatory framework that has exposed numerous opportunities in ICT innovation services. The newly developed and highly qualitative ICT infrastructure is now ready to accommodate more future investments.
The 2013 Index of Economic Freedom ranked Uganda, the 8th freest economy out of the 46 Sub-Saharan Africa countries. The business operating environment allows the full repatriation of profits after the mandatory taxes have been paid, as well as 100% foreign ownership of private investments.