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UTL gets new internet service partner

By Wilson Manishimwe

Added 17th October 2017 02:11 PM

UTL wants to reduce the cost of internet in Uganda to $100/Mbps, from the current $300/Mbps.

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INTERNET | TELECOMMUNICATIONS

The Uganda Telecom (UTL) and West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC), international internet service provider have announced a major internet capacity partnership aimed at lowering the cost of internet to Ugandan.

This partnership will also facilitate delivery of more data capacity and faster speeds in Uganda. According to Otaremwa Otuhumurize, the telecommunication manager at UTL, the company targets the reduction of the cost of internet in Uganda to $100/Mbps from the current $300/Mbps.

During the press conference at Serena Hotel in Kampala on Tuesday, Otuhumurize explained that the company now focuses on providing the service to corporate companies, Small Scale Enterprises but in the near future the service will be rolled to individuals and even in homes.

“Without a good internet, you can’t deliver electronically given the fact that there’s technological advancement. With this partnership we shall be able to deliver affordable internet,” he stated.

He added:” We are selling internet at 100 and we have good basis for such position and we can deliver it and have done it in some agencies. We already have 7.5 Gigabits per second (Gbps) on internet connectivity which can supply all government agencies and citizens of Uganda and our partnership also focuses on that,” said Otuhumurize.

WIOCC’s network integrates over 60,000km of submarine cable assets including the East African Submarine System, Europe-India Gateway and West Africa Cable System and these link Africa’s coastline to Europe and the rest of the world.

James Wekesa, the WIOCC’s Chief Commercial Officer noted that the company in addition to the new partnership, the company supports UTL on its transmission backhaul between Mombasa and Kampala.

“For UTL, the partnership means delivering reliable internet to the whole of Uganda through both wire line for example fibre, copper and wireless technologies,” he stated.

He added: “This internet capacity is transmitted from internet hubs in Europe and South Africa to Kampala through Kenya. This will make it readily available for Ugandans to use. Uganda market will be spared with the availability of this capacity.”

Wekesa noted that UTL staff will be given training on how to embrace the changes that may arise with the new partnership especially on technology levels.

In April this year, the Government appointed the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), registrar general Bemanya Twebaze to take over the reins at UTL. This, according Evelyne Anite was aimed at acting in best of interest of all stakeholders of the telecommunication company.

Few weeks ago, the Government advised its agencies to utilize extensive and reliable data network to reduce their costs and also help in the recovery of the telecommunication company.

Mustapher Ntale, the manager liquidation services at URSB noted that since the UTL was put under administration of URSB, there has been general increase in availability of the company network, increased growth rate and on time payment of employees.

“From June this year, the company has been growing at between 5-10% and workers are paid every 24th every month which wasn’t the case before it was put under URSB administration. We are sure that the company is still growing,” said Ntale.

During the same press conference, New Vision learnt that UTL is one of the 14 shareholders of the WIOCC, owning 9.13% of the company and this may have triggered the partnership. 

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