MTN, Airtel Uganda Secure 5G Spectrum Paving Way for High-Speed Connectivity

Editorial Desk
By Editorial Desk 2 Min Read

MTN Uganda and Airtel Uganda have emerged as the winners in the Uganda Communications Commission’s (UCC) first 5G spectrum awards.

This development signals a significant step forward in the deployment of high-speed broadband services in Uganda.

The UCC had issued an invitation in late May for interested parties to apply for radio spectrum through a competitive multi-band award process. Operators were required to pay an initial commitment fee of up to US$1.5 million if they planned to deploy 5G using multiple frequency bands.

After careful evaluation of the submissions received, Airtel Uganda and MTN Uganda secured a substantial portion of the available spectrum. According to reports, these two operators accounted for over 68% of the awarded spectrum, winning 25 out of the 37 available blocks.

TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reveals that MTN Uganda secured frequencies in the 700MHz, 2.3GHz, 2.6GHz, and E-band (71GHz-76GHz/81GHz-86GHz) ranges, while Airtel Uganda was successful in the 800MHz, 3.5GHz, and E-band ranges. The spectrum licenses granted to both operators come with specific coverage and data rate targets.

Unfortunately, bids from Uganda Telecom, Lyca Mobile, and Intracom did not succeed, and certain blocks in the 700MHz and 3.5GHz bands remained unallocated.

The UCC had initially aimed to complete the spectrum allocation process by mid-August, after the reservation process concluded on July 21.

However, the UCC managed to finalize the process more than a month ahead of schedule, demonstrating their commitment to advancing the country’s digital infrastructure.

Airtel Uganda had already announced in February that its network was fully 5G-ready. On the other hand, MTN Uganda is embarking on a strategic five-year partnership with Huawei to modernize its core network for 5G capabilities.

The successful awarding of the 5G spectrum to MTN Uganda and Airtel Uganda signifies a major milestone for Uganda’s telecommunications sector.

With the deployment of 5G, Ugandans can look forward to enhanced connectivity, faster internet speeds, and access to advanced technologies that will drive digital innovation and economic growth in the country.

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