KAMPALA – Airtel Uganda has been found to provide the fastest data at slightly above 14 Mbps, says a Quality of Service study (QoS) from the Uganda Communications Commission. The QoS study determined performance in call success, blocked calls, dropped call rates and data speed. The Airtel network was the quickest in nearly every jurisdiction.
In the period September to November 2019, UCC conducted benchmark measurements of mobile voice telephony and data services in Uganda to assess the Quality of Service (QoS) received by users/consumers of these services. The operators whose services were considered under this exercise were Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL), MTN Uganda Limited, Airtel Uganda Limited, and Africell Uganda Limited.
The measurements were carried out from the end-user perspective in twenty (20) towns across the country namely; Mbarara, Kabale, Moroto, Kasese, Hoima, Mubende, Arua, Mbale, Tororo, Soroti, Lira, Kampala, Mukono, Jinja, Masaka, Mityana, Entebbe, Masindi, Fort Portal, and Gulu. However, the UTL network was not accessible in seven  of the towns considered.
In an area where Airtel had an average speed of 14 Mbps, MTN was slightly above 4 Mbps in Soroti and 3 Mbps in Mityana. With Africell, a subscriber would download a file at 3.8 Mbps in Soroti, 5 Mbps in Kitgum, 3.9 Mbps in Mityana and 5.8 Mbps in Moroto.
However, Airtel registered lower speeds in Masaka, Mukono and Entebbe, all places in which MTN registered slightly higher speeds.
MTN reached 7 Mbps in Kasese and registered throughputs less than 2 Mbps in towns like Arua and Gulu.
A report shows that all the operators performed the poorest in Kabale district, registering speeds lower than 4 Mbps. In Kampala, the average speed by all three telecoms is 6 Mbps and is 4.7 Mbps for both Entebbe and Mukono.
Airtel Uganda, first announced the availability of nationwide 4G connectivity in January last year, following the complete modernization of its network, a development it said was significantly to enhance the network experience for customers.
The regulator however investigated Airtel after customers complained of slow connectivity.
UCC said Airtel was misleading subscribers and prospective clients with deceptive claims over the network’s fourth-generation (4G) internet capabilities.
UCC investigation found that Airtel’s network speeds were much lower than what is internationally expected for a 4G network service.
“Following preliminary investigations conducted in the sampled towns of Kampala, Mukono, Entebbe and Jinja to establish the level of coverage and download throughput of Airtel’s 4G network, the Commission found that whereas Airtel’s LTE signal was available in over 90% of the areas sampled, the network speeds were much lower than what is internationally expected for a 4G network service”, a statement released by UCC read.
Seven months later, Airtel Uganda has been found to provide the fastest data at slightly above 14 Mbps, says a Quality of Service study.