The Connectivity Revolution


Our Chief Commercial Officer Michael Mukasa was interviewed on his ideas about the connectivity revolution happening in Uganda and Africa at large.  An article from this interview was written by Tom Wadlow and Vivek Valmiki of Africa Outlook. Here is a look at what was written.

Roke Telkom is responding to technological trends in its beloved Uganda, the company broadening its expertise and reach to the benefit of business and consumers

Digital transformation is pressing ahead in Uganda.

According to the GSMA, around 40 million citizens (or 44 percent of the population) have a mobile subscription, with around 10 million mobile internet connections established across the country.

And it is a trend that needs to continue gathering momentum if the East African nation is to move towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its Uganda Vision 2040, the rise of digital connectivity seen as crucial in realising almost all of the SDGs.

For Michael Mukasa, Chief Commercial Officer at national telco Roke Telkom, the industry has reached a critical juncture.

“Several things are happening at the same time,” he says. “First, the traditional voice and mobile services are largely low margin commodities, and the dominant players from that space are looking for new opportunities in financial services and data.

“Secondly, there have been a large number of ISP players that had different specialised market niches, yet this is also changing where you find traditionally wholesale companies are now entering the retail and corporate market.

“Lastly, there is a shift from only providing connectivity towards giving total solutions to customers including voice, television and online media.”

Roke has been in operation since 2006, the company expanding beyond the remit of its Public Service Provider license in 2010 when it secured a Public Infrastructure Provider license from the Uganda Communications Commission. In 2013 it obtained telecommunications services licenses in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Adapting with the times
The changing dynamics of the industry highlighted by Mukasa present both opportunities and challenges for Roke.

“In such a situation, a business needs to transform itself constantly in order to differentiate from the pack,” he adds. “This is done by aligning the entire organisation towards innovation, and we have made this a core value.

“Additionally, we participated in the Stanford University SEED programme that gears companies towards exponential growth trajectories and allows exchange of ideas between medium sized and growing firms in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

“This exchange of ideas allows us to find ways around challenges in accessing cost effective capital, and also technological and social challenges such as unstable power supply that tend to be common between countries…see full article here