This rise is a result of a boom in e-commerce due to limited mobility at the onset of the lockdown imposed by the government to fight the global pandemic Coronavirus that has claimed the lives of over 18 people while infecting more than 1 800 people.

“Mobile money accounts grew by almost 700 000 users, from 24.7 million registered accounts in Dec 2019 to 25.4 million in March 2020,” according to the Market Performance Report First Quarter 2020 (1Q20) recently released by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC).

“Of these, 21 million accounts undertook at least one billable mobile money transaction in the 90 days preceding March 31, 2020.”

UCC noted that while registered accounts grew at only 0.9 percent during the quarter, the growth in active mobile money accounts averaged 4 percent during the period and 75 percent of the new wallet activity is drawn from previously dormant accounts.

Agent access points have grown from 204 141 nationwide at the end of December 2019 to 213 295 at the end of March 2020.

Work from home due to Coronavirus travel restrictions has caused a rise in e-commerce, online conferencing and a surge in use of multimedia streaming applications resulting in a growth in broadband traffic.

“During 2020, total quarterly broadband traffic has grown to 49 billion megabytes from 42.3 billion megabytes in the quarter October-December 2019. The market has averaged 16.34 billion megabytes downloaded per month during the quarter, with a traffic peak of 18.3 billion in March 2020. This translates into an average of 582.2 megabytes per subscriber per month,” reads part of the report.

For the first time in Uganda the telecom sector has recorded Shillings (Shs) 1 trillion in total quarterly revenues representing a 12 percent increase, the highest quarterly revenue on record.

However, while the total revenues have grown in the reported period, the monthly cost of service has grown from Shs230 billion in December 2019 to Shs238 billion in March 2020.

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