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Uganda Internet Case Study Michael Minges and Tim Kelly The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the ITU or its membership. The authors can be contacted at Michael.Minges@itu.int and Tim.Kelly@itu.int . ITU Internet Case Studies

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michael minges and tim kelly

Uganda Internet

Case Study

Michael Minges and Tim Kelly

The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the ITU or its membership. The authors can be contacted at Michael.Minges@itu.int and Tim.Kelly@itu.int.

itu internet case studies
ITU Internet Case Studies
  • Seek to understand factors which accelerate or retard the development of the Internet in different environments
  • Obtain market information
  • Through comparative analysis, advise policy makers and regulatory agencies
  • Analyze spread of Internet in different sectors of the economy such as health, education and commerce as well as government
  • The first round of studies include Uganda, Nepal, Egypt and Bolivia.
uganda overview
Uganda Overview

Source: ITU from World Bank, UBOS data.

telecom policy

P. Masambu, Executive Director, UCC

Telecom policy
  • Reformed, privatized and liberalized
  • Private mobile operator
    • CelTel, May ‘95
  • Regulator created
    • UCC, 1998
  • Second network operator introduced
    • MTN Uganda, Oct. ‘98
  • Incumbent part-privatized
    • UTL, Feb. 2000
telecom market
Telecom market

Telephone subscribers, Uganda (000s)

  • Low fixed penetration
    • Low investment, high tariffs
  • Rising mobile penetration
    • 2 operators, pre-paid, foreign investment
  • First African country where mobile>fixed

Source: ITU from UTL, MTN, CelTel data.

internet market
Internet market
  • Status
    • 8 licenses issued, 4 active ISPs
    • Incumbent not yet providing ISP service
    • 4’000 subscribers, ~25’000 users
    • Foreign investment
    • Wireless Internet could prove significant
  • Recommendation
    • ISPs should peer locally, perhaps via an independent Internet exchange point
internet tariffs
Internet tariffs

Dial-up Internet access charges, US$ per month

  • Status
    • Not many options
    • Telephone usage charges
    • Long distance outside Kampala
  • Recommendations
    • A nationwide dial code for Internet access should be established
    • Revenue-sharing of telephone calls charges should be encouraged



Telephone usage

ISP charge

30 hours per month

Source: ITU from UTL, InfoCom data.

donor projects
Donor projects
  • Status
    • A number of IT projects are taking place with the assistance of bi-lateral and multi-lateral donor agencies and different sectors of Uganda government
  • Recommendation
    • Greater co-ordination of these different efforts is required

International & Bilateral

IT projects for Uganda


US AID Makerere Univ.

World Bank Min. Education

Denmark UBOS

Canada UCST

Italy Min. Health


ADB Makerere Univ.

ADB Min. Health

Norway Makerere Univ.

Source: ITU adapted from various.

public access
Public Access
  • Status
    • No explicit policy for Internet
    • Telephone line & payphone targets
    • Around 10 cybercafés in Kampala
    • Uganda Posts provides e-mail in 3 towns
    • Donor projects
  • Recommendations
    • Emphasis should be placed on developing public access points such as telecentres, cybercafés, utilising for instance existing community locations such as post offices, schools, health centres, etc.
domain name
Domain name
  • Status
    • Uganda OnLine registrar
    • Registration US$50 per year

Uganda (.ug) hosts

  • Recommendations
    • Registrar should be neutral
    • Costs should encourage development of web sites in Uganda

Source: ITU adapted from Network Wizards.

sector absorption
Sector absorption

Distribution of Internet Users

  • Recommendations
    • Awareness
      • Promoting Internet through seminars, trade shows etc.
    • Content
      • Local content in local languages
    • E-Government
      • Government ministries should get on line
    • E-Commerce
      • Creation of an e-Commerce task force

NGOs, UN, World Bank, etc. 30%





Govern-ment 5%

Source: Charles Musisi, March 1999

state of internet uganda
State of Internet Uganda

Note: Range is 0 = (non-existent) to 4 (highly developed)

Source: ITU adapted from Mosaic Group.