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Review of operations - Contents

MTN Uganda

 


   
Dec
Mar
   
2005
2005
  Uganda financial results
Rm
Rm
 


  Revenue
868
999
  EBITDA
434
507
  PAT*
187
226
 


  Market information
 
 


  Population (million)
26,9
  Mobile penetration (%)
6
  Mobile market share (%)
63
  Number of mobile operators
3
 


  Operational information
 
 


  Prepaid/postpaid mix (%)
99/1
 


  Note: Financial data reflects 100% of the operation
Total subscribers
MTN Uganda



COMPANY OVERVIEW

Launched in 1998 as the country’s second national operator, MTN Uganda again recorded strong growth and reached a significant milestone in the period by reaching the one-million subscriber mark (including fixed-line subscribers). At 31 December 2005, mobile subscribers had exceeded 982 000 and fixed-line subscribers at 17 000, showing increases of 26% and 54% respectively. MTN Uganda’s mobile market share declined slightly during the period from 66% to 63% with total market share (including fixed-line) at 62%.

With a population of 26,9 million, mobile penetration is estimated at 6%. Current coverage of the population is estimated at 73% and geographic coverage at 59%. ARPU at USD15 against USD19 for the financial year ended 31 March 2005 was lower than expected, but in keeping with subscriber growth at the lower end of the market.

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE


MTN Uganda has one non-executive and four executive board members. The company subscribes to the MTN Group sustainability framework with guidelines on sustainability management. In addition, MTN Uganda reviews its social responsibility, environmental compliance, regulatory compliance and customer perception and satisfaction levels annually.

To ensure continuous improvement in the workplace and comply with local legislation, MTN Uganda has a risk control management process encompassing training, risk assessments, audits and procedures and controlling techniques.

NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE

Investment in network infrastructure during the period was USD36 million; this included commissioning 27 base transceiver stations and expanding of the core network infrastructure to enhance capacity. Reflecting the extent and stability of its infrastructure, MTN Uganda was awarded tenders to provide infrastructure for universal service in the eastern and western regions of the country. These initiatives will see internet access in some of the most rural areas of Uganda.

MARKETING

MTN Uganda has remained the dominant brand in Uganda, with brand affinity largely driven by functional attributes such as coverage, proximity of distribution outlets and sustainability initiatives. The new slogan Everywhere You Go was launched in April 2005, adding a fresh look, feel and appeal to the market and securing for MTN Uganda an award for best execution and activation.

Uganda remains a fiercely competitive market, with all participants focused on building dominant positions in selected segments.

In December 2005, the company received the PriceWaterhouseCoopers award for most respected company in Uganda and second-most respected ICT company in the East African region.

MTN Uganda’s brand-building sponsorships included the flagship MTN Kampala Marathon, national athletics championships, national basketball league and several music festivals. Y’elloRose – an MTN women’s initiative that aims to empower and recognise the contribution of women to society – was very well supported.

PRODUCTS

As mobile market penetration deepens in Uganda, the acquisition of new subscribers is mainly from sections of the population with relatively low disposable incomes. To cater for this important segment, MTN Uganda introduced its per-second billing package in April 2005. The real need in the market for this type of product was soon reflected in 20% of the prepaid mobile subscriber base migrating to this product.

MTN Uganda also introduced a low-denomination voucher in October 2005 which accounted for 60% of the volume of airtime cards and 33% of revenue in two months. Approximately 77% of revenue is now driven by low-denomination vouchers, reflecting the changing profile of the company’s subscribers.

GPRS network implementation was also completed during the period and MMS and mobile internet browsing were successfully launched in July 2005. In December 2005, the company launched MTN Loaded, an interactive portal offering superior multimedia content. These products have all been well received, reinforcing the company’s reputation for innovation and are expected to increase tenure of postpaid subscribers.

DISTRIBUTION

MTN Uganda has the most extensive distribution network in the country, covering all major areas. Total distribution outlets increased from 4 664 to 5 321 at the end of December 2005. This includes five service centres, a number of franchise principal dealers and sub-dealer outlets.

MTN VillagePhone is a rural communications scheme that MTN Uganda operates in partnership with microfinance institutions. MTN VillagePhone creates opportunities for poor rural individuals to become VillagePhone operators even in areas where electricity is unavailable and in areas where the MTN network can only be accessed with a booster antenna. MTN VillagePhone achieved the 2000 VillagePhone operators’ milestone in August 2005.

LEGAL AND REGULATORY

The exclusivity period that restricted major service provision to the two national operators ended in July 2005 and the proposed telecommunications policy to replace the duopoly has not been finalised. A public-private partnership model to achieve government’s communications targets is under discussion. This is a departure from the regulator’s proposed policy of creating two licensing categories: infrastructure provision (potentially issued to three major operators) and service provision (fully liberalised).

ADDING VALUE

MTN Uganda spent UGX63 billion during the period on local procurement, across a broad spectrum of businesses.

EMPLOYEES

MTN Uganda employs 430 people including eight expatriates. During the period, some 680 training days were completed, a major portion of which focused on information technology and network skills. Other key areas for training included customer service, channel and distribution processes. Employees received an average of 13 hours training during the period at an investment of UGX648 million.

Thirty HIV/AIDS peer counsellors, drawn from employees, were trained as a proactive measure to increase awareness and address risks related with the disease. In 2006, another 30 peer counsellors will be trained. Free anti retroviral treatment is offered to staff. The company intends to extend the provision of anti retroviral treatment to employees’ dependants in the near future as part of a holistic approach to treatment.

CUSTOMERS

MTN Uganda has five service centres and a call centre, and expects to open the sixth in the eastern region of the country during 2006. These centres support both fixed and mobile services virtually around the clock and have multilingual routing capabilities. There are separate helplines for fixed-line, postpaid and prepaid customers. Call centre technology is currently being upgraded to a multimedia platform to enable SMS and web-chat services.

ENVIRONMENT

MTN Uganda has a number of sites in biodiversityrich habitats of Rwebisengo swamp, Paraa National Park, Mpanga Forest and Laura Forest. In line with a formal environmental policy, these habitats are safeguarded through a comprehensive online environmental management system being implemented. The programme includes waste minimisation, prevention of pollution, management of land, unique flora, forests, water and wildlife. Its primary focus is ensuring a clean and healthy environment for employees, shareholders, customers, contractors, suppliers, communities and other interested stakeholders.

MTN Uganda strives to use energy efficiently, recycle whenever possible, use environmentally friendly materials and work co-operatively with partners to enhance common environmental objectives.

CORPORATE SOCIAL INVESTMENT

Although MTN Uganda has not yet formally established a Foundation to integrate its social responsibility initiatives, it continues with a focused programme to enhance the quality of life of the communities in which it operates. During the period, it invested USD122 000 in several projects.

The company has a partnership with Habitat for Humanity to provide low-cost housing for the rural underprivileged, building 20 houses in 2005.

The company also installed infrastructure in two schools last year totalling USD39 000 and has initiated schools connectivity projects in partnership with the Ministry of Education. Nine schools will be connected in the first phase to June 2006.

In line with the MTN Group approach, MTN Uganda is a NEPAD partner in the launch of the first e-school in the country, a project commended by the President of Uganda.