The Ugandan ICT market is growing at a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of above 25%. This double digit growth has been registered over the last 5 years since 2008. The sector is mainly comprised of; provision of voice and data communication services, ICT training, website development and maintenance, business process out sourcing as well as custom software development. This upward trend is expected to continue as long as new players join the market.
The bulk of investment expenditure has been in the roll out of mobile broadband solutions and other Internet related infrastructure. Investment in the sector is expected to grow in the near future as the new service providers expand their networks coupled with the expenditure for the 3rd phase of the national backbone infrastructure network.Due to its cross-cutting nature, the ICT sector plays a very big role in employment, job creation and quality/efficiency in other services delivery. For decades, the ICT sector in Uganda has been revolving around the Telecommunications, Postal and Broadcasting services.
The sector has now grown at a phenomenal rate especially in the areas of mobile devices, computer applications, information processing, storage and dissemination (Broadcasting and Internet Points
of Presence at district levels) as well as m-finance, e-finance, global connectivity and online trade. The posts and telecommunications services activities accounts for more than 3.3 per cent of GDP.
Key Features of the Sector and Trends
Sector dynamism is a result of Uganda’s good ICT legal and regulatory framework, a stable macroeconomic environment and economic reforms pursued since the early 1990s. The telecommunications sub-sector, formerly dominated by a single national operator, has been progressively liberalised over the last 10 years.
Fixed-line and DSL penetration is low but has seen a renaissance recently on the back of wireless local loop (WLL) rollouts, prepaid services and an increasing demand for broadband access. Table 19 below shows the estimated market services penetration rates in Uganda’s telecommunications sector as of end of 2011.
The cost of international bandwidth has been reduced dramatically following the landing of the first international submarine cables on the East African coast in 2009/10. Uganda is now connected. This has caused a spur in growth of capacity with the international bandwidth by 5-fold.
Investment and Business Opportunities