By John Odyek
Minister for information and communication technology Eng. John Nasasira has warned telecommunications companies against poor network quality.
“We have been receiving complaints from customers of poor network quality by all telecommunications companies. We hope this will disappear soon," Nasasira cautioned.
Nasasira made the remarks at the brand re-launch of Airtel Uganda following last year’s merger with Airtel Uganda and Warid Telecom. Airtel Uganda also launched its thematic “Together we can campaign”. The function took place at Kampala Serena Hotel.
The minister commended Airtel Uganda for the successful 'marriage' with Warid Uganda saying this was one of the most successful business mergers in Uganda.
He said of all assets a company has, a brand name was very valuable and should be well managed. Nasasira urged telecommunications companies to increase the number of people using mobile phones, which he said stands today at 60%.
Vice President, Edward Ssekandi, urged telecommunications companies to increase Uganda’s internet penetration levels which are currently very low.
“You need to push internet penetration levels from 16% to another level to enable you tap into our agro-based and agro-focused environment where 80% of population operate. This will enhance our poverty eradication campaign and help government fast track the modernization drive of agriculture, health and commerce,” Ssekandi said.
Ssekandi who represented President Yoweri Museveni at the function said the telecommunications sector was a mailstone for social economic development.
“Social media has redefined the way people do business and interact. In governance, we are witnessing increasing citizen participation in national and international debates,” Ssekandi noted.
Vellapakkam Ganapathy Somasekhar, managing director Airtel Uganda said in the last three years, the company has invested US$250m in mobile telephony, internet and mobile money. He said the company would continue investing US$70m annually in Uganda to build on its ICT infrastructure.
“We are ensuring affordability and good customer services. We will invest in the latest technology to ensure customers get the best service. We will support education and sports activities,” Somasekhar said.
Chris Kassami, chairman of the board Airtel Uganda, said the competition in the telecommunications sector was healthy and it would ensure customers benefit. Kassami said the company would remain competitive.