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Friday, April 16 2010

MTN Uganda the pioneers of Mobile Commerce in Uganda have increased the maximum amount that can be transacted in a day from 1mn to 10mn per day. In a related development, one can buy airtime using the money on their account which in this case is their phone number from Shs 50 to 1,000,000/-

Other carriers like Zain, Warid and UTL have equally launched similar services with Zain's sweeping across East Africa.

With the MTN Mobile money, you can buy mobile money for your account to be credited, which in turn you can use to send to your friends and families or suppliers as you may choose. The person who receives the money on their mobile phone will be notified with an SMS notice on their phone, if registered to mobile money, there will be no need for a secret code, but the sender has got to send you a secret code which have to be declared at the point of withdraw who in this case are the authorized agents.

There is something to note here, MTN has branded all its affiliations as 'Authorised Dealers' but these are not necessary Authorized Mobile Money agents. In Kampala for example opposite Bank of Uganda, you will be able to find an MTN service centre which is one of them, Below Sway Club next ti the Orange shop is another Mobile Money spot.

Supposing you are going to Jinja, Kireka, Bweyogerere, Mukono, Lugazi and Jinja you are likely to find a mobile money centre though you should expect some long queues as the centres decrease in number as you tend to leave Kampala and spread to the outskirts.

The lines have even increased in number after MTN started a promotion of giving away 1mn shillings to one lucky winner everyday for 30 days starting on 14 Mar 2010. To enter the draw you must use MTN Mobile Money.
Related
Mobile Money Transfer Now in Uganda 

Posted by: uowd AT 09:23 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, April 16 2010

There's no doubt the internet has become a way of life to many and investors are seeing every need to invest in this area with the latest being Foris Telecom who will be launching their services later in the month.

Foris joins the likes of Broadband company, Orange, WARID, MTN and UTL among others in offering internet based dongles or modems for that case. The service is so convenient because it is a plug and play arrangement. No installations or dish outside your house are required other than plugging it into your computer and within a click you're having the world in your palms.

Foris which is yet to launch promises a better package over and above those on the market as its dongle will be a 4G compared to the 2Gs and 3Gs that other players in the market are using. The dongle business once followed closely can be a good venture per say because you are targeting homes, individuals who actually out number companies.

Foris is now targeting homes and individuals and they will deploy a sales team that will literally go door to door marketing their services.

Posted by: uowd AT 07:57 am   |  Permalink   |  12 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, April 13 2010
It was the year 2007 when Uganda hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and at the time, we had about 1,800 hotel rooms which shot to over 5,000 according to Ismael Ssekandi the Executive Director – Uganda Hotel Owners Association to accommodate the guests who were expected for the summit.
 
The biggest problem is the culture of Ugandans in relation to these services which is still lacking and as such there is need for government intervention or the hotels themselves having to think out of the box to attract the local market.
 
The number of Jinja residents who can opt to reside at Jinja Nile Resort for a weekend is certainly very low minus carrying out a survey and so is the number of Kampala Residents choosing to go and have a weekend at Munyonyo Resort.
 
Hotels had better come up with strategies of attracting locals to their entities by either giving them promotional packages or encouraging them to actually use the services. If in a given month we had 2,000 guests requiring these hotel rooms that would still leave over 3,000 rooms not utilized at all.
 
The credit crunch did not make it any better for this sector because the numbers of tourists or visitors that these hotels would be attracting has gone down drastically as a result of the economic melt down.
 
It is for this reason that hotels had better adopt a programme of attracting locals so that these services are not only used for once offs like Honey Moons, Christmas Holidays but the hotels can get some measurable traffic from the locals throughout the year.
 
The approach of attracting locals might not be an option for the big name hotels to consider but when it eventually works out they might have no option but to get on board.
Posted by: uowd AT 02:29 pm   |  Permalink   |  3 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, April 04 2010
I hadn’t been to Kyenjonjo which is a few kilometers to Fort-Portal though I must say the first section of the road after the Bypass from Kampala is an absolute nightmare as the repairs are still going on.
 
We were going for an introduction ceremony ‘Kwanjula’ but as we approached Mubende, a traffic cop signals for us to stop which we did. Looks at the vehicle and discovers the Third Party Insurance had expired a week back, which I had myself not noticed. As he did all this, he had already confiscated my driving permit.
 
The cop anyway went ahead and pulled out his charge sheet. Took all the details from the driving permit and the charge was 40,000/- according to the offence for an expired third party license. The price I'm being charged is way above the price required for the Third Party Insurance for a year.
 
So he was like when you pay, you can come for your driving permit. I’m from Kampala and I’m now in Mubende where I’m being issued with this charge sheet. There was a Stanbic Bank a few yards away but the very cop told me it had not opened this Saturday may be due to the Easter season. This means that the earliest this fine could be paid in any open bank was on Tuesday.
 
The problem is driving 165km to Mubende to show the traffic officer that the 40,000/- has been paid before the Driving Permit can be released. Meanwhile, fuel is scarce and the few petrol stations with fuel on this route were charging Shs 3,500 per litre, the road is so bad that at some point we met a yellow KALITA bus that had literally blocked the entire road due to heavy rains forcing us to take an alternative route which was equally a nightmare as we were driving through plantains.
 
While I agree with the cop, which by the way I told him that I was impressed with the way he works but the issue of retaining my permit and having me to burn 330kms just to pick my Driving Permit is what was not in line with the current times.
 
If police is issuing express penalty fines and the public is not responding by paying, there can be a number of ways to ensure that people pay and this has worked for companies like Multiplex, whihc is responsible for parking in Kampala. The normal charge for parking for an hour in Kampala is about Shs 400 but for every default on 400 shs, there is an additional 2000 shs. That alone will compel motorists to even pay visits to the parking centers like the post office on Kampala road to cross check if they have any balances, and trust you me, in most cases the outstanding balances are settled. They even have a way of checking for any balances on your parking status with the help of a mobile phone even Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) is doing this now.
 
I don’t think we will need rocket technology to streamline the following up on defaulters of express penalty schemes who are causing unnecessary bothers to motorists who may not have similar intentions. All in all clamping vehicles or retaining Driving Permits which can only be released after the fine has been paid does not tantamount to a country moving forward or being listed as an achievement for whoever suggested so but coming up with smooth methods that save time and deliver results for all is what we know as moving forward. Mobile Money, Google SMS, UNEB SMS, Advantage Cards, Computerized Driving Permits the list is endless are all examples of moving in the right direction.
 
Posted by: uowd AT 07:05 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email

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