I am very happy today my home country Uganda is making 47 years of Independence and 15 years of constant ICT revolution. Don’t you think that is great achievement! And guess what; am also part of revolution, my 6 years of exploring, learning and sharing with others has also made a difference. Don't you think?
Well since I was not there when you Uganda got independence, I can not tell you much about it. But I can tell you something about Uganda’s evolving ICT sector. I would say Uganda started considering communication (or I would say becoming active in communication sector) when mobile communication was introduced in 1994 by company by then Celtel Uganda Limited today is owned and called Zain Uganda.
However serious ICT revolution started in 1998 when MTN Uganda was introduced and started its operations in 1999. This was great achievement to Ugandans where by calls were made cheaper, ridiculous charges were scraped, things like service fee were removed, payments of airtime in dollars become history. Mobile communication shifted from the rich only class to everyone that wanted mobile communication. Internet through dialup, ADSL, Leased line also came to be hot product on market since 1999. Right now Uganda has over 5 telecommunication companies, over 6 Internet service providers and over 100 SMEs providing ICT services in the country. I have decided to compile a time-line list of ICT companies in Uganda and the great changes they have contributed to the country. Join me as I explore the 15yrs of great change in the Pearl of Africa Uganda.
- December, Celtel Uganda Limited goes live with GSM 900.
- Afsat Communications Uganda, vsat internet providers.
- Infocom: was a merge between Infomail first supplier of internet services and Starcom Ugandan Company hence forming Infocom an internet service provider in Uganda.
- Bushnet launches its data transmission and Internet services.
- Sanyutel providing telecom services.
- April, Uganda On Line (UOL). This came as offshoot of MUKLA and started providing internet add on services to Uganda. This saw the birth of Uganda Domains (.ug, .co.ug.
- Swift Global (Uganda) Ltd launches its internet service products.
- UCC – Uganda Commissions Commission was formed after the Uganda Communications Act had been passed.
- February: UTL (Uganda Telecom Limited) was formed from UPTC (Uganda Posts and Telecommunications Corporation) as a fully telecommunication company.
- March – April: Dehezi International launched its internet services to Uganda.
- October: MTN Uganda Ltd goes live with GSM 900.
- SpaceNet lauches starts to provide wireless, dialup and hosting services to Uganda.
- Computer Frontiers International (CFI) was incorporated to provide ICT services.
- Africa Online (U) Ltd buys off Swift global and starts offering dialup, leased line, and mail services to Ugandans.
- CFI merges with UOL forming one giant domain registrar .ug, .co.ug Company in Uganda.
- One2net launches as an Internet Service Provider (ISP). One2net was born from Sanyutel.
- Uganda Telecom Ltd launches mobile services through GSM 900.
- EnterUganda.com an information portal was launched to provide information about Uganda.
- Datanet.Com LLC takes over takes over SpaceNet and continues to provide internet and add-on services.
- The Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MOICT) was established with a mandate of providing strategic and technical leadership, overall coordination, support and advocacy on all matters of policy, laws, regulations and strategy for the ICT sector.
- Hits Telecom launches telecom services with GSM 900/1800.
- Warid Telecom Uganda Limited goes live with GSM 900/1800.
- Lwegatech Limited launched as internet add-on Service Company in the country mainly focusing on SMEs.
- ICTLabs launched providing only Hands-on Skills to Ugandans preparing them for ICT market.
- Orange Uganda Limited buys off Hits Telecom and launches immediately.
- i-Telecom launched as sixth telecom company in Uganda.
- ICT Magazine comes to online market to boost on providing informative content to the public around the world.
- Tangerine Uganda as broadband service providers.
- The Broadband Company launched also its broadband internet services