KAMPALA —Subsea cable company (Seacom) will acquire selected infrastructure assets from Africell in Uganda.
In a statement, the company says the acquisition marks a significant step for Seacom and is testament to the company’s commitment to providing competitive end-to-end connectivity and ICT solutions across the region.
Reports from Uganda indicate Africell, which was the number three operator, wound down its operations in the East African country last year.
This, after it reportedly found it difficult to compete with the local units of MTN and Bharti Airtel.
Africell Uganda was established in May 2014, when Africell acquired the majority stake that Orange Telecom owned in its Uganda cellular network. Africell paid $12 million for that stake, inheriting an estimated one million subscribers.
“East Africa has been an important market for Seacom ever since we first arrived on the shores of Mombasa in 2009,” explains Tejpal Bedi, managing director and regional head of sales for Seacom ENEA.
“By officially establishing ourselves in Uganda through proprietary facilities and resources, we are prioritising widespread connectivity and opening up opportunities to work with businesses in search of quality internet services.”
This latest expansion comes on the heels of Seacom’s recent acquisition of Kenyan service provider Hirani Telecom’s metro fibre network.
The Johannesburg-headquartered Seacom is poised to take over a comprehensive portfolio of infrastructure essential for connecting enterprise customers.
It says this includes 760km of fibre within the Ugandan capital city of Kampala and surrounding towns, a 250 square metre data centre, and office space for Seacom representatives and staff members.
“The acquisition goes hand-in-hand with our five-year strategy into expanding operations in the region,” Bedi adds. “As such, we are very excited about having a greater local presence.”
Seacom has provided wholesale solutions to Uganda since its inception in 2009, and corporate solutions since 2018.
The company notes it enjoys a large footprint in Uganda’s financial services sector and works with government and non-governmental organisations, including those in the education, technology and hospitality sectors.
Although dominated by small businesses, Seacom notes Uganda is home to a thriving private sector with thousands of medium to large businesses located primarily across Kampala and the central region.
There’s also a growing internet penetration rate with competitive connectivity prices as compared to other countries in the region, it adds.
It believes the acquisition of established infrastructure will allow for further expansion into East Africa, enabling Seacom to provide seamless integration of its services for clients across Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, and decreasing the reliance on third-party last mile providers to deliver connectivity solutions..
These solutions include wireless and fibre internet access, cloud connectivity, as well as hosting facilities, such as e-mail and security, such as distributed denial of service protection software.