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Facebook, Airtel Uganda partner with BCS to expand cheap  internet to Uganda’s upcountry

Airtel Uganda Managing Director, Anwar Soussa (R) gives a speech during the event to announce their investment partnership with BCS and Facebook. Looking on is Facebook African Public Policy manager Kojo Boakye. (PML Daily Photo)

KAMPALA– Social networking giants Facebook this week signed an agreement with telecom company Airtel Uganda to improve the communication company’s infrastructure in the country.

The agreement was announced at Kampala Serena Hotel by Mr Kojo Boakye, Facebook’s African Public Policy manager, Yonas Maru – Managing Director of Bandwidth and Cloud Services Group (BCS), a wholesale bandwidth provider focused on deploying infrastructure in East Africa.

Others included Anwar Soussa, the Airtel Uganda’s Managing Director and were witnessed by Mr Bagiire Vincent Waiswa – Permanent Secretary of Uganda’s ICT Ministry alongside UCC’s executive director Godfrey Mutabazi.

According to Facebook, a total of nearly 800 KM of the optical fibre will be laid in Northern Uganda including Gulu, Adjumani and Arua.

other areas include Koboko, Nebbi and Kamdini areas which will be funded jointly by Airtel, BCS, and Facebook.

The project will provide backhaul connectivity covering more than 3 million people in Uganda and enable future cross-border connectivity to neighbouring countries.

“This will help improve performance and support upgrades to 3G and 4G in areas where operators are bandwidth-constrained,” said Airtel’s Anwar Soussa, adding “ At Airtel, believe that internet is the future and as such have invested heavily to ensure that our customers are part of the future now.”

Uganda has a population of 13 million mobile subscribers, with a growing consumption for data and internet services from telecoms.

Mutabazi said, “ICT is the fastest-growing economic element in Uganda and with appropriate partnerships.”

“As regulators, we are pleased that the under-served rural communities of Uganda are getting access to ICT.”

 

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