By Ambrose Gahene
Uganda Telecom (UTL) and WIOCC last Tuesday announced a major Internet capacity partnership that will facilitate delivery of more data capacity and faster speeds in Uganda, while further lowering the cost of the internet to millions of Ugandans. The initiative was launched at a media briefing held at the Kampala Serena Hotel in Kampala, during which UTL officials made a commitment that Ugandans would soon enjoy much faster internet access at a greatly lowered cost.
“Working with WIOCC in this way gives UTL the ability to implement significant improvements in price, quality and quantity of internet in the country” said UTL’s Otaremwa Otuhumurize
WIOCC provides a range of core wholesale services to carriers, internet service providers (ISPs), over-the-top players (OTTs) and Content Providers throughout Africa. WIOCC’s network is a unique asset integrating more than 55,000km of terrestrial infrastructure with its strategic investments in over 60,000 km of submarine cable assets including the East Africa Submarine System (EASSy), Europe-India Gateway (EIG) and West Africa Cable System (WACS), as well as capacity on other submarine cable systems linking Africa’s coastline to Europe and the rest of the world. WIOCC is the largest investor in EASSy with a shareholding of 28 per cent.
“WIOCC supports UTL on its transmission backhaul between Mombasa and Kampala” said Mr. James Wekesa, WIOCC’s Chief Commercial Officer. “WIOCC also provides UTL with quick restoration options through alternative routes in case of any interruption in traffic on its fully-redundant connectivity. For UTL, this means being able to deliver reliable and affordable Internet to the whole of Uganda – for Government agencies, corporate, SMEs and homes – through both wireline – e.g. fibre and copper; and wireless technologies,” Mr. Wekesa added.
This latest announcement comes at a time when government has put together measures to turn around the TelCo which enjoys the widest data footprint in Uganda. A few weeks ago, government advised all of
Its agencies to utilize UTL’s extensive and reliable data network to reduce their costs and also help in the recovery of the TelCo. “The ICT challenge in Uganda today is extending affordable connectivity to the people that require it. The partnership with WIOCC will greatly assist us in meeting this challenge, boosting our ability to deliver high-capacity mobile broadband via our microwave radio, copper and fibre-optic network infrastructure,” added UTL’s Otaremwa Otuhumurize.
The announcement of this partnership is a stamp that demonstrates UTL’s capacity to deliver data services to the whole country at higher speeds and lower costs.
WIOCC is jointly owned by fourteen (14) major African Telecommunications companies including UTL, which was among the main champions of the formation of WIOCC in 2008. UTL’s investment in the Company is enabling it to purchase 7.5 Gigabits per second (Gbps) of Internet connectivity on very competitive commercial terms, allowing the TelCo to pass on cost-efficiencies to consumers in Ugandan. This partnership between the two companies will boost internet capacity in the short-term and ensure availability of further capacity upgrades in tandem with increases in demand.
About Uganda Telecom
Uganda Telecom, whose full legal name is Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL), is an information and communication technology network company.
UTL is a leading total communications provider with a broad range of services in Uganda, including: Fixed voice (copper, CDMA, fixed GSM), Mobile voice and data, Dedicated circuits for data and internet (xDSL, FTTx, leased lines), Broadband services (3G, WiMAX, xDSL, FTTx, CDMA, Wi-Fi), Data centre services (hosting/housing/backup/failover) and an unstructured supplementary service data-based mobile wallet service called “M-SENTE”