Wednesday 15 November 2017

Why should Uganda telecoms data expire?

The use of internet in Uganda is increasing. More and more Ugandans are acquiring smartphones which they mostly use to access social media sites. Official figures show that 23 million Ugandans are active subscribers to the telecommunications companies. Internet penetration in Uganda is currently at 45%, where majority access internet using their mobile phones.

Telecom companies limit data usage to time
Much as this is good news and an improvement in the telecom subscription numbers, the consumers are not happy. The cost of phone calls and data is still prohibitively high when compared elsewhere. Currently, the cost of internet in Uganda is current $300/Mbps. The government agency, NITA has reduced the internet connectivity within government offices to $70/Mbps whereas the Uganda Telecom, a public-private telecommunication company has announced that it will reduce the internet cost to $100/Mbps.

While the cost of data in Uganda remains higher when compared to elsewhere in the region and world, the business model of expiring data is unfair to the consumer, to say the least.
I have never understood why telecoms in Uganda, East Africa restrict data usage to time. Naturally, if I have purchased something it becomes mine and the issue of expiry or validity of data should not arise. Data purchase should be treated like airtime which is already not subjected to expiry. Once one buys data you don't have to indirectly pressure him/her to use it (data) within a specific time. This business model is not fair, in my opinion.

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