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

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.

RELATED ARTICLES

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 digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Uganda’s S&P credit rating up
INTERNATIONAL credit rating agency, Standard & Poors (S&P) this week affirmed Uganda’s credit rating at B/B with a stable outlook from B negative based on high GDP...
Global Trust Bank closed
Bank of Uganda has taken over the management of Global Trust bank....
Police cautions importers on impounding vehicles
POLICE has issued a directive barring vehicle importers from impounding cars sold to third parties by their agents on grounds that there is an outstanding balance...
Involve us in Namanve land allocation, UMA asks govt
Officials from Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) have asked government to involve them in the allocation of land in Namanve Industrial Park to avoid being hoodwinked by fake investors who cannot develop it....
MPs warn government on coffee, banana diseases
Uganda’s coffee and banana shambas are under attack by diseases and this might cause huge losses to the country and to the farmers if the problem is not urgently checked, Members of Parliament have warned....
Gov’t risks losing billions through advances to foreign companies
A new wave of ethical and professional misconduct has hit Uganda’s construction industry, exposing government to risks of losing billions of funds as contractors connive with employees of banks and insurance companies to obtain fake bid securities and financial guarantees...
Should government review powers of kings?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter