Africell to piggy-back on MTN Uganda to sell airtime

Top officials seal the deal in which Africell is taking advantage of MTN’s wider reach to sell its products and remain competitive.
In Summary

August 6—Africell Uganda is taking advantage of MTN Uganda’s larger network of service points to begin […]

August 6—Africell Uganda is taking advantage of MTN Uganda’s larger network of service points to begin offering airtime top-up and data bundles for their customers who often have found it difficult to buy both until now.

As the leading mobile phone network provider, MTN holds slightly over 50 pc of the market followed by Airtel Uganda, Africell Uganda and Uganda Telecom in that order. Africell has just over three million subscribers compared to MTN’s 11,000,000-plus.

“We are leveraging on MTN’s investment in infrastructure particularly the mobile money initiative that had a wider reach nationwide. This is being done in the spirit of collaboration other than direct competition that the Ugandan telecommunication sector is increasingly adopting,” Alex Wekoye, the Africell Commercial Director- Sales and Distribution said earlier today.

He said the deal will give more airtime and data bundle loading options for  customers across the country, especially in areas where Africell has limited physical presence. The announcement comes after a directive from the regulator, Uganda Communications Commission, for telecom operators to move towards sharing and optimizing available infrastructure. As the biggest network, MTN Uganda will be under pressure to share more, but the company would prefer to do this on its terms through bilateral negotiations and not being pushed hard by the UCC.

Wekoye said Africell customers can now buy airtime of all amounts, data bundles and Africell  social media bundles like Swift and 4G bundles on their phones from any MTN mobile money outlet nationwide.

MTN Uganda CEO Vim Vanhelleputte said, “We like to think of Africell as a partner other than a competitor, we are already partnering on different backdoor services like site sharing and many more. Our main aim as the sector, is to offer reliable communication services to all Ugandans and hence the need for these partnerships.”

Vanhelleputte said MTN Uganda has been acting as a supermarket for several payment services and the Africell tie-up becomes the newest addition to the MTN Assisted Payments Initiative.

However Wekye clarified, “All our Africell outlets will remain available for customers who require the wider range of Africell services like simcard registration and replacement, 4G devices, phones and much more.”



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