iWay Africa, with a footprint in 44 African countries has partnered with Yahsat, a Middle East based internet service provider with a promise to offer better uninterrupted speeds of internet and wide reach to areas hitherto unreached in Uganda.
The duo said in a statement that the partnership “will enable users to instantly connect to the Internet via a small satellite dish and satellite modem anywhere in Uganda. The satellite technology will provide reliable Internet services, even in the remotest places, without the need for terrestrial infrastructure.”
If this promise is true, it means that even remote areas that hitherto have not seen internet in Uganda will be connected.
A statement on the partnership issued on the sidelines of Africom 2015, said under the partnership, “iWayAfrica Uganda will provide in-country user equipment, installation and customer care services. The two companies will offer broadband packages designed to cater for the needs of business and home users.”
According to statistics from the Uganda Communications Commission, the industry regulator, internet subscription and usage continued to grow in the country in the last one year. In the period July 2014-June 2015, the number of internet users rose from 44 per cent of the population to 52 per cent, which is a 37.3 per cent penetration.
The Commission data shows that in the last one year, the number of internet users in the country grew from 8 million to 14 million, while that of subscribers grew from about 4 million to 6 million.
These numbers point to two facts about internet use in Uganda; first that the coverage is still low and therefore the need to cover more users is still high. Secondly, that access is still determined by location, and therefore any technologies that break location boundaries will reach more users and potential subscribers.
David Murphy, Yahsat’s Chief Commercial Officer, said,”We are delighted to be partnering with iWayAfrica to deliver YahClick’s quality high-speed broadband via satellite to Uganda. iWayAfrica Uganda understands the unique requirements of this market. They will support us in a country where there is a massive growth demand for reliable Internet access.”
On his part, iWayAfrica’s Uganda CEO, Godfrey Sserwamukoko, said, “The partnership will enable iWayAfrica Uganda to offer Ka band VSAT connectivity in areas within Uganda not currently covered by other service providers. We see this partnership as an excellent opportunity to tap into the large underserved market.”
Only time will tell if the partners will deliver on their promise.