More telecom mergers expected,says outgoing MTN boss
Publish Date: Jul 13, 2014
More telecom mergers expected,says outgoing MTN boss
Masts owned by different telecom companies
  • mail
  • img

By David Mugabe

Outgoing MTN Uganda chief, Mazen Mroue, has called on the private sector to invest in rural areas as a way of boosting mobile phone penetration.

Mroue who has served at the helm of MTN Uganda noted that mobile phone penetration which increased greatly a few years ago, has since stalled, adding that the idea of having many players to increase penetration is not working.

“We have low penetration, yet we have a lot of players. Some of the new players are not investing outside the capital city,” Mroue told New Vision in an interview.

Although mobile phone penetration is still about 45%, if the Government scales up infrastructure, it will enhance overall penetration growth, according to Mroue.

He also expressed concern about the several tax levies on the telecom sector such as excise on airtime and phone devices, and the recently introduced nine cent per minute levy on international incoming traffic.

“This is very high, it has resulted into a 40% decline in traffic coming from abroad,” noted Mroue, who took the mantle at the peak of the price wars, which saw an almost 60% reduction in tariffs about three years ago.

He said there is likely to be consolidation and more mergers among telecom companies because the market is too small for seven operators. Orange Telecom was taken over by a West African firm, while Airtel bought Warid Telecom.

Mroue oversaw the growth of subscribers from about 7.5 million to about 10 million in two years, while data customers rose from 500,000 to three million. Also, there are now six million mobile money subscribers from 2.5 million.

He suggested that vandalism of telecom infrastructure should be treated as a crime and asked the Government to consider making the infrastructure national assets.

On the state of regulation that has largely been blamed for failure to enforce the quality of service as well as the rampant unsolicited mails, he noted: “Here, they listen and give chance. This is not available in other markets.”

Mroue praised his former team for their support and appreciated Ugandans for their hospitality.


Telecom firms to share infrastructure

MPs want taxes on telecom firms cut

Stiffer competition expected in telecom

Minister tasks UCC on telecom services quality


The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Uganda tipped on oil and gas
It is now close to a decade since the first commercially viable oil deposits were confirmed in Uganda. But the wait for the country’s first oil barrel is still on, much to the chagrin of oil companies on the local scene....
Uchumi Supermarkets closes some outlets in Kampala
Uchumi Supermarkets has closed two branches in Uganda as part of re-organisation to stabilize the business....
Women to meet over leadership
About 200 women from various organisations converge this week for the fourth annual conference on women and leadership....
Ugandan on the “Africa is not Ebola” campaign
Uganda’s tourism promoter, Amos Wekesa has been appointed to the global “Africa is not Ebola” campaign that is helping to rebuild the image of the stunning continent....
Board members of the Uganda Electricity Generation want the contractors of 600mw Sinohydro Karuma Hydro Power Project to put emphasis on the health and safety of workers....
How to add value to Doodo farming
Amaranth is a high nutritional value crop rich in proteins , essential fatty acids and micronutrients....
Should Makerere University fees policy be reviewed?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter