Lycamobile dismisses closure claims  

Lycamobile has been operating in Uganda since 2020. Photo / File 

What you need to know:

  • There had been reports of Lyca’s closure, whose origin remains unclear 

Lycamobile has dismissed claims of alleged closure, noting that it only experienced an outage on its data services, which has since been sorted. 

The outage, Lyca said had been a result of an expansion on its network infrastructure.

In a statement Lyca said it is enhancing its services to reach every customer, including those in remote areas.   

“We encountered a slight unexpected downtime of our data services ... which lasted for less than an hour,” Lyca said , noting that the outage affected only data services, but voice, short text messages and USSD services were operational.

There had been reports of Lyca’s closure, whose origin remains unclear.  

Lyca launched its operations in 2020, adding to a number of telecom that had been licensed at the time.  

Mr Vinay Alapati, the Lyca director, said then they would invest more than $100m (Shs378b) with a long-term plan to offer other services prepositions.    

Monitor understands Lyca has already applied to Bank of Uganda for a licence to offer mobile money services. 

Lyca is largely a data service company but it continues to face challenges with most of its services limited to only urban areas.  

Its push, together with UTL and Ala Technology, to be granted a 5G spectrum by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) fell through in June.  Airtel and MTN have already launched their 5G projects. 

A UCC quality of service report for voice and data services in 25 towns across Uganda in October indicated that Lyca was finding it difficult to achieve required call setup success rate performance of 95 percent or higher.

“This looks at the proportion of call attempts that succeed in getting a response from the network [such as] ring tone or user busy or unavailable, within the 12 seconds of dialing,” UCC said, noting that Lyca’s likelihood of a call attempt connecting to the called party only exceeded UCC’s threshold in Ntugamo and Kyenjojo districts.

The report also noted that Lyca’s dropped calls were primarily due to limited coverage and poor signal quality, noting that it has also been observed that coverage, including a number of blackspots, remained a major cause of quality of service shortfalls. 

“To address the quality of service offered, all operators were given a license obligation to rollout their respective networks to 90 percent of the geographical coverage within five years of being licensed,” UCC noted.