Orange has launched mobile telecommunications services in Uganda. The company said its GSM network will be further expanded, not only in terms of coverage but also in terms of services and technologies. 3G broadband services will also be offered in the next few months, following the planned upgrade of the network.
With this launch, Uganda becomes the 15th African country in Orange's international footprint and joins a worldwide community of 123 million Orange customers. Uganda has a mobile penetration rate of less than 27 percent, and four other mobile network operators are already active in the country.
The launch of operations by Orange Uganda follows the acquisition by France Telecom of a 53 percent stake in Hits Telecom Uganda in October 2008. Orange's service offering in Uganda includes a unique national flat rate per second or per minute, a range of international tariffs and an exclusive call-back service. Orange Customer Service will be available from a toll-free hotline 24/7 to answer any queries, provide information or give technical assistance. Orange will use the 079 number prefix and charge UGX 8 per second for on-net calls and UGX 310 per minute to other local networks.
Orange Uganda director Abu Mukasa said SMS to local networks and Orange Kenya will cost UGX 90 and UGX 220 for other international destinations. Orange has signed an agreement with Warid Telecom to share 300 sites. Under the arrangement, the company will build 150 sites and share Warid's 150 sites already in place.