Africell Group is stopping services in Uganda after careful consideration of the commercial outlook for its business. This is amidst the tough competition it faced against other local units of African telecom firms like MTN.
By October 7, 2021, current Africell UG subscribers must close their accounts and switch to alternative mobile providers following the exit of the Africell Group in the Ugandan market. Africell’s mobile frequency and spectrum will be returned to the Uganda Communication Commission.
“Leaving Uganda is the most sustainable way to fulfill our overall mission to advance the African telecoms sector through competition and innovation,” said the company. “Although we regret the immediate impact this decision may have, we believe it is a justified and strategic long-term change and we are supporting employees, customers, and other parties through the transition period.”
In a span of seven years, Africell has struggled to expand against MTN, which cemented its market share leadership in Uganda, with over 50% of the total subscriber base in the country. Compared to Africell’s overall 12 million subscribers across the African continent, MTN hits 15 million subscribers in Uganda alone, as of July 2021.
In 2014, Africell entered the Uganda market after acquiring the local assets and operations of Orange. Despite closing down its operations in Uganda, its operations in Angola is set to be launched by the end of 2021.