Located in East Africa, Uganda is a landlocked country bordered by Kenya, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania and has a population of approximately 41.5 million. The country lies in the Great Lakes region and is also home to wildlife reserves, popular with tourists. The landscape consists mainly of plateaux but also features rolling hills and mountains. The economy of Uganda combines agriculture with the service sector. This has become more dominant in recent years. Economic growth has been consistent in the country which exports crops such as coffee, maize and tobacco. Uganda is also rich is largely untapped oil and natural gas reserves which are still to be exploited.
Lagging Internet Penetration
The reliance upon the mobile phone for Internet access is extremely noticeable in Uganda as over 95% of all Internet connections are made in this way. With the fixed line infrastructure in need of significant improvement, Ugandans are looking to their Mobile Network Operators to enable them to connect to the Internet. At present, Internet penetration is at 31.3%, signifying that that the majority of the population is still to gain connectivity to the Internet.
This access would most definitely transform lives. In rural areas, people rely on farming as their main source of income and women, in particular could benefit greatly from Internet access. Many women, in addition to looking after the household, are entrepreneurial in order to bring more money into the home. Some build up small businesses making textiles or baskets or rearing and selling animals. Expansion of mobile networks into rural regions of Uganda could have a significant impact on these cottage industries, opening up financial opportunities for the women that run them and giving them an expanded marketplace in which to sell goods. M-banking and e-commerce is already extremely popular in Uganda for those that can access it. Through these services, accessible on mobile phones, women will be able to promote their businesses, to gain financial support through small loans and bank accounts and can generate more wealth. But first the MNOs must expand into these outlying areas where connectivity is a challenge.
There are currently 7 telecom companies operating in Uganda so there is plenty of competition. There has also been some investment made into the telecoms infrastructure but more must be done to tap into the population that live outside of major towns and cities.
BusinessCom Solutions for Uganda
BusinessCom Networks can provide the solution that will enable MNOs operating in Uganda to extend their reach without any loss of service or degradation of call quality. This is achieved through cellular backhaul via satellite. Using VSAT technology, BusinessCom offers a highly flexible platform that is also cost-effective and enables MNOs to offer IP services on top of cellular voice services. The BusinessCom cellular backhaul solution also eliminates wastage by dynamically assigning bandwidth so that it is only used when it is required. The entire service is managed by BusinessCom’s experienced personnel.
Uganda has much to gain from the introduction of VSAT solutions to rural areas and can offer a plethora of benefits to its people.
Key differentiators of BusinessCom VSAT services in Uganda are:
- Broadband Internet access
- Toll quality VoIP and Videoconferencing with CIR
- Reliable SLA through FDMA and D-TDMA
- Star, Mesh and hybrid Star/Mesh topology networks
- Full support of accelerated VPN, CITRIX, ERM and other business applications
- Highly secure operation with optional AES embedded encryption
- Global C-Band coverage and sub-Sahara Ku-Band
- Landing at top tier redundant IP facilities in Western Europe and United States
- Sentinel-based QoS, bandwidth management and optimization platform