Uganda news update – Airtel follows MTN with higher tariffs

The honeymoon clearly is over now amongst Ugandas Telecom companies as the number two in the market, Airtel, also moved their tariffs to the 4/- Shillings per second range with immediate effect.
Also citing higher cost in a statement literally copied and pasted from the one MTN had issued 24 hours earlier, the development smacks of a cartel like practice and has already been condemned by consumer organizations. Phone users with UTL the embattled Telecom company now seemingly in court with all and sundry over unpaid debts Warid and Orange are now holding their breath to see what Friday will bring, as it is expected that those will either aggressively market their lower tariffs to capture market share amongst phone users disgusted with the two market leaders or else meekly follow suit and also raise charges.
The 100 percent increase of phone charges is bound to have a fallout on inflation in Uganda and when the September statistics are out in early October the country is likely to see another rise in annual inflation, which had just risen to 21.4 percent in August.
No comments have been received as yet from the Uganda Communications Commission over the increases and the duplicity of action taken by the number one and two mobile companies in the country. Only months ago was UCC under pressure to explain why they should dictate to the market that a 1/- Shilling per second tariff was prohibited by them, only to let it go after a storm of public opinion, and it is now wait and see if they will make any move to cap increases overnight, considering the marketing promises made by the companies over the duration of the record low tariffs when they were introduced.

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