Uganda’s second largest cellco by subscribers, Airtel, has unveiled plans to extend its 4G LTE network to more rural areas. East African Business Week quotes Airtel Uganda managing Director Tom Gutjahr as saying: ‘We’ve deployed 170 LTE sites already, and today Lira is already turned on with 4G, and the rest of the country will follow suit. We’ve bought a lot of 4G equipment, and at 170 LTE sites we’ve the highest number of LTE sites in the country. Airtel is committed to [offering] quality services, both voice and data, to our clients; that is when our customer base will increase.’
The firm also has plans to expand the range of available 3G and 4G handsets in order to entice more users to mobile data services. Gutjahr added: ‘We are sure our clients will adopt the 4G network because the majority of Ugandans have embraced smartphones,’ although figures suggest that only around 13 out of every 100 handsets in use in Uganda is a smartphone. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Airtel claimed around one-third of Uganda’s 18 million cellular subscribers at the end of 2015.