KAMPALA – Telecom regulator Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has diverged details on the recent agreement between Airtel Uganda and K2 Telecom, denying that “it is neither a merger nor an acquisition.”
Mr Ibrahim Bbosa, the consumer affairs manager at UCC, on Thursday, August 2, said that the development that many had termed as a takeover is just a partnership that seeks to mutually benefit both parties as they expand their businesses.
He explained that it is just a brand endorsement arrangement where K2 Telecom entered into the agreement, allowing Airtel Uganda to use her trademark and brand name.
“Under the Brand Endorsement Agreement, K2 customers will continue enjoying the same or similar services with a different code prefix (0708),” he said, adding that the customer migration will be voluntary.
“Customers will exercise their contractual right to either move to Airtel or not,” he said adding that K2 Telecom remains the sole and exclusive owner of the K2 trademark and brand but Airtel Uganda will be free to state that the K2 Trademark and Brand is “powered by Airtel”, according to Bbosa.
Bbosa explained that K2 Telecom customers will have access to telecom services provided by Airtel including voice and data bundles, Airtel Money and value-added services.
“K2 Customers will access support & customer care services at all Airtel’s Points of Sale,” he said.
The Buganda Kingdom on Friday went into a partnership with Airtel Uganda to revamp K2 Telecom. According to Katikiro Charles Peter Mayiga the partnership with Airtel Uganda aimed at re-launching K2 brand.
Speaking at the event, Mayiga, said: “I am pleased to announce to Buganda and Uganda that the Kingdom of Buganda has partnered with Airtel Uganda to re-launch K2 brand under the new code 0708 now offering. I urge all people in Buganda and Uganda to join K2 – Eyaffe.”
On his part, the Airtel Managing Director, Mr VG Somasekhar, said that Airtel aimed at giving back to the people of Buganda through the provision of quality services and reviving the K2 brand so that Baganda continue to celebrate the pride within the Kingdom.
K2 was previously hosted by Africell, before shifting to Smart Telecom after the two telecoms disagreed overpricing of services.
K2 Telecom is owned by the Buganda Kingdom as major shareholders, alongside other managing partners, including former finance minister Maria Kiwanuka and Mr Kiwalabye Male, the chief executive officer of Buganda Land Board (BLB).
The K2 Company which was established in 2013, Located at Ring Road in Muganzirwazza building in Katwe, Kampala, It offers both SMS and data services.
It has however faced a number of wide-ranging issues since its launch including being switched off in 2017 by UCC on orders of Uganda Revenue Authority.
The K2 offices were closed for defaulting over Shs 94.8M in taxes.