Telecommunications in Uganda

There are a number of systems of communication in Uganda, including a system of telephony, radio and television broadcasts, internet, mail, and several newspapers. The use of phones and the internet in Uganda has rapidly increased in the last few years.


1900 to 1970

The postal service of for the protectorates of British East Africa and Uganda was called East Africa and Uganda Protectorates, and operated from April 1, 1903 to July 22, 1920. From 1948 to 1977, postal service in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda was provided by the East African Posts and Telecommunications Corporation. With the decolonization of Africa, Uganda took over control of its postal system, although until 1961 stamps from the colonial postal system were being issued alongside Uganda's stamps.

1990s to present

The Uganda Posts and Telecommunications Corporation had a monopoly over Uganda's communications sector until the Uganda Communications Act was enacted in 1997.[1] The act created the Uganda Communications Commission, the current regulator of communications in Uganda.[1]


As of March 2010, the telephone communications system was described by the CIA factbook as "seriously inadequate" with "the number of main lines is still deficient", but with growing cell phone service and available email and internet.[2] As of 2004, Uganda Telecom Limited(UTL), Celtel and MTN Uganda Limited are the three telecommunications operators licensed by the Uganda Communications Commission.[1]

In 2008, there were 168,500 main telephone lines in use in Uganda, making Uganda one-hundred and twenty eighth in terms of countries having the most main telephone lines. In 2008, there were 8.555 million mobile telephones in use, making Uganda sixty eighth in terms of countries having the most mobile telephones in use.[2] This was an increase from 2006 when there were 108,600 main telephone lines in use in Uganda, and from 2007 when there were 4.195 million mobile telephones in use.[2]

As of March 2010, telephone traffic within is carried by wire. Microwave radi relay, and radiotelephone communication stations are used in domestic telecommunications as well, and fixed and mobile cellular systems are used for short range traffic.[2]

As of March 2010, international telephone communication is catered for by an Intelsat and an Inmarsat satellite earth station, along with analog links to Kenya and Tanzania. The international calling code is 256.[2]


The top-level domain for Uganda is ".ug".[2]

In 2009, Uganda had 6,757 internet hosts, making it one-hundred and thirty first in terms of countries with the most internet hosts.[2] In 2008, Uganda has 2.5 million internet users, making it sixty fourth in terms of countries with the most internet users.[2]

In 2006, Uganda had 18 internet service providers, providing for 750,000 internet users.

Postal Service

As of 2004, Uganda Post Limited was the only postal service licensed by the Uganda Communications Commission in Uganda.[1] As of 2010, Uganda Post Limited had changed its name to Posta Uganda.[3]

Radio and television

The Uganda Broadcasting Corporation is the public broadcasting station.

The 2004 Uganda Broadcasting Corporation Act stated that the UBC should be funded by the levying of a television licence fee.[4] Collection of a licence fee set at USh20,000 (around 8.40 or US$10.80) started in 2005.[4] However, collection was subsequently halted by President Yoweri Museveni.[4] There has since been pressure to reinstate the licence fee to maintain UBC's independence.[4]

There are 122 FM radio stations, 7 AM and 2 shortwave. These serve 2.6 million radios.

As of May 2008, there are 2 major PayTV providers i.e. DSTV and GTV. There are 22 television broadcast stations, serving 1,785,000 televisions. There are 15,000 HD Ready televisions.


Daily newspapers in Uganda include The New Vision, Sunday Vision, The Daily Monitor, The Sunday Monitor, The Red Pepper, The Sunday Pepper, The Uganda Observer, The East African. The East African Procurement News is a weekly business newspaper.

See also


Further reading

External links

  • Uganda Communications Commission - a government agency
  • Uganda Communications Commission - June 2008 Index of Radio and TV stations - pdf
  • GSM World page on Uganda
  • PanAfriL10n page on Uganda
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