Africell

Airtel Uganda has taken over Africell customers, a week after Telecom service provider announced that it will exit Uganda market next month.

Last week, Airtel Uganda announced that every Africell customer who joins them, will get 50% bonuses on data bundles. “50% Bonus on all Data Bundles for everyone switching from Africell to Airtel. Make the move today and enjoy the best offers on the largest 4G Network in Uganda,” Airtel said.

Africell will be the third telecom company to be acquired by Airtel Uganda. Airtel entered the Uganda Market on June 8 2010 when Bharti Airtel acquired 16 Zain Africa operations. In 2013, Airtel fully acquired Warid Telecom Uganda in the first ever in-country acquisition in the telecommunications sector.

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“Africell has decided to leave Uganda and focus on other opportunities for social and commercial impact. Doing so is the most sustainable way to fulfill our overall mission to advance the African telecom sector,” Africell announced, adding that “The decision was made in the long term interest of the Ugandan telecom sector.”

 “Africell will stop services on 7 October 2021 and the last day of employment with Africell Uganda will be 30 November 2021. Africell will clearly communicate the transition in respect to its employees and clients,” Africell said.

“We understand that all employees have unique personal circumstances and the Human resource office will be in contact to explain specific packages for employees. As of 8 September 2021, Africell will not accept new customers. In the next month, the company will be helping current customers to switch to other service providers,” Africell said.

Africell Uganda was established in May 2014, when it acquired the majority stake that Orange Telecom owned in its Uganda cellular network. Africell paid $12 million for that stake, inheriting an estimated 1,000,000 subscribers. In November 2014, the Group Chairman and CEO announced plans to invest US$150 million in the next 5 years, to upgrade the Africell network in Uganda.

In 2014, the network subscribers in Uganda were estimated at one million. As of September 2018, its subscriber customer numbers had risen to 2.1 million. In April 2020, the company’s website gave the number of subscribers as over 3,000,000.

In 2018, Africell Holdings, the parent company of Africell Uganda, secured a loan of US$100 million from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), to expand operations in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Africell Holdings maintains subsidiaries in the Gambia, Sierra Leone, DR Congo and Uganda. As of January 2015, Africell Uganda maintained coverage in the majority of Uganda’s geographical area.