Vodafone is in Uganda to stay, says company CEO

Tuesday February 10 2015

L-R: Uganda Communications Commission’s Godfrey Mutabazi,

L-R: Uganda Communications Commission’s Godfrey Mutabazi, Vodafone’sTage Rasmussen, and NSSF’s Richard Byarugaba officially launch Vodafone Uganda in Kampala yesterday. PHOTO BY DOMINIC BUKENYA 

By Mark Keith Muhumuza

Kampala- The latest entrant into Uganda’s telecommunications market has said it is in the country for the long haul.

Vodafone yesterday officially launched its voice and data services in the country, becoming the sixth player in the telecommunications market offering both voice and data services.

Mr Tage Rasmussen, the acting chief executive officer, told Daily Monitor that “Vodafone doesn’t run away in any of the countries we operate. We are always in this for the long haul. The investors may change, but the Vodafone brand will always exist.”
Mr Rasmussen said there is plenty of room for another telecom firm in the country as market penetration is only estimated to be 19.5 million.

Vodafone, which has been given the code “0723”, says it is focusing on provision of internet packages, an area Mr Rasmussen described as having the potential for “tremendous growth.”

He also said their investment costs are low, which works to their advantage, because they are sharing most of the infrastructure such as masts and the fibre optic cable.

He also noted that they are entering the market to compete but not disrupt the status quo. Their call rates are at Shs5.5 per second, which is within the industry average.

Mr Godfrey Mutabazi, the chief executive officer Uganda Communications Commission, said even with more players in the sector, quality of service and accessibility is still low.

“In the last three years, subscribers have increased to 19.5 million. Have the telecoms in the country invested enough to provide for the growing numbers? The answer is No,” Mr Mutabazi said.