Uganda may benefit from new mobile price war

Bharti Airtel has also announced another customer-oriented service

A new round of telecom price wars appears to be underway and Ugandan analysts are confident that the new battle will continue to assist and help customers benefit from the price cuts.

“What we are seeing with Warid and others are efforts to undercut the market and this is going to mean users will get reduced rates and will be able to talk more so it looks like it will be benefiting the people again at the behest of companies’ profits,” says Robert Umbabo, a Kampala-based telecom analyst.

This comes after Warid Telecom, who cut its rates on voice calls from Ush.8 (less than $1) to Ush.5 and to finally Ush.3 per second, further reduced voice call rates within the network to Ush.1 per second, forcing other operators to follow suit.

The company announced earlier this month another offer that will see mobile customers receive three times the value of airtime they load.  For example, if a mobile user loads airtime worth Ush 5,000 (about $1,9) and above, they will get a 200% bonus. The bonus airtime can be used to make voice calls and send sms messages.

A Ush.5,000 (about $1.9) scratch card gives one bonus airtime of Ush.10,000 (about $3.9) which in essence means one will have total airtime of Ush.15,000 (about $5.8) instantly and the same applies to the other denominations above Ush.5,000 (about $1.9).

Bharti Airtel has also announced another customer-oriented service that allows a user to purchase a SIM pack containing two SIM cards with consecutive numbers.

Airtel’s Uganda Managing Director V.G Somasekhar says the sim card has been fitted with a technology that enables a customer to access the Internet, besides being WAP enabled or not.

Uganda Telecom (UTL) has reloaded their Endobo product –  which allows mobile users to use only Ush.500 (about $0.2) to make unlimited daily calls on their network.

By: Andrew Matapare