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Sunday, March 11 2012

The Telecommunication sector in Uganda is growing with at least five major players in the industry to offer GSM services, Internet and lately Mobile Money services. We posed a similar question on the Uganda Online wall and most of the comments were suggesting that Orange is fairly good when it comes to the internet.

MTN was leading when it came to Mobile Money and Warid was equally doing well on GSM. to participate in the survey, log on to our Facebook page to comment and also see what others have posted.

Posted by: uowd AT 02:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 11 2012

Advisory: - MTN Uganda is giving out bonus airtime when you load any amount up to 10,000. The offer is valid for the first seven times when you load from 9 to 15 Jan 2011. The message is brought to you two days after the promo has kicked off but with the remaining 5 days, you can get yourself some free airtime.

Posted by: uowd AT 06:32 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Friday, May 13 2011

Google Introduces free SMS to Orange, MTN and Uganda Telecom Networks

GMail is the internet web based email for Google which enables you surf the web within your email. You can choose to search within you email or just search the web from your email interface.

The beauty with all this is that it comes at no cost other than having a Gmail email account. The cost of a phone call had tremendously dropped to the extent that it was cheaper to call as compared to sending a text.

At least for a start, you have as many as 50 free SMS texts that can be sent to mobile numbers, I have not exhausted mine so I'm not sure what happens after that may be that will be our next article on this subject.

The mere fact that a mobile phone is in most cases with the person your sending this message to, it appears to be more instant than an email most especially if that person has not got access to the internet but the GSM network is available.

In Uganda, the Gmail SMS service is available to those on MTN, Orange and Uganda Telecom. It is not clear when networks like WARID, Airtel among others will get on board though Google is quick to add that; "If you are a mobile operator, and wish to integrate with the SMS feature of Gmail, please drop us a note to:"

Replying to (SMS) Messages:
"When you receive an SMS message from a Gmail contact, add the incoming number to your phone's address book (this number is associated with the sender's Gmail account, so you can use it to send Chat messages to that person in the future). Then, you can reply to the message as you would any other text message, and your reply appears as a Chat message in your friend's Gmail account."  from Google.

Posted by: uowd AT 11:47 am   |  Permalink   |  23 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, September 12 2010
Things are getting better by the day. First it was Internet through a USB modem whose monthly price was Shs 85,000/- though you had to go to the head office on Hannington road or the Customer centre on Jinja road to recharge your account.

The price has since then been reduced to 60,000/- per month. Every time the service expired you had to go to those offices which by then were not operational on Saturdays now if Saturday was the only free day on you, then you were probably more disappointed.

All that is a thing of the past because much as the Jinja road office was closed leaving customers with the head office at Hannington road which by the way is open on Saturdays, you can now recharge you account by just buying airtime that can be loaded to the data sim card using your cell phone.

This means you just have to buy WARID airtime from any vendor load it on your account following these steps: *130* followed by your access number, then the hash key. To have one month you buy Shs 60,000/- airitime, Shs 20,000/- for one week and Shs 4,000/- for one day.

However on activating the sim card you must be very careful here. You need to send an sms to 158 depending on what package. If it is one month send data 30 to 158 and if it is one week, send data 7 to 158 and for one day send data 1 to 158.

A confirmation text will be sent to you confirming the credit on your data account which you can now remove from your phone and put to modem to get you back on air. In the bible it was written that those who have will be added and those who do not have, even the little they have will be removed from them.

If you buy 60,000/- per month, you will save 20,000/- compared to someone buying Shs20,000/- per week which will end up being Shs 80,000/- per month. It is even worse if you are going to buy Shs 4,000/- per day because you will end up paying Shs120,000/- per month. 

However, the option of buying Shs 4,000/- warid airtime per day has equally got its advantages, because honestly if you don't want the service for the entire 30 days, there is no point parting with the entire Shs 60,000/-
Related:WARID Modem Users Enjoy Price Cut

Posted by: uowd AT 11:05 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, June 27 2010
New Business Opportunities are coming up as a result of economic and technological advancement. This has resulted in new jobs and boosted people's incomes as seen below:

Easy Load
Easy load indeed. In the past one had to buy airtime from a vendor and oh yes up to now only that it is more convenient than it was before. Through Mobile Money, one can buy airtime and also send money to their loved ones.

Assuming you are in a precarious situation and you need airtime there and then but with no airtime vendors around you can use mobile money on condition that you have any balance above Shs100. Talk of new trends, some have even started vending airtime depending on the situation.

Supermarket Shopping
The City is flooded with supermarkets and all of them issue computer generated receipts unless otherwise. This has given rise to a new opportunity. Some companies have come up offering shopping opportunities for a commission to those who are busy and are not in position to do shopping in time. One Supermarket is doing 247 shopping but at times you find it closed so those offering that service are coming up steadily.

This is a massive industry that has boosted so many line businesses in the process. Short Message Services (SMS) are growing by sending alerts for wedding meetings, Some venues that were redundant have now found better use for their redundant space by hiring out space for wedding meetings to take place.

Photography - Some Hotels have even gone an extra mile to develop photographing sites that the newly weds have taken advantage of during the photo shot sessions. Soon they will be charging for this service.

Catering - Others that have benefited from the wedding explosion are those offering catering services bearing in mind that a few years back weddings were a question of having a soda and a few snacks, today it is a buffet arrangement.

Bridal Cars - The most interesting here is the slow displacement of the Mercedes Benz which has for so long been used as a machine for Bridal Cars and now being replaced by Hummers, Jaguars, Limousines and so on.

Mobile Money
Two years back there was no such a thing called Mobile Money, now it is a question of either you not wanting to use it or not understanding it at all or not seeing any need for it. Zain, Mpesa, M-Sente, MTN Mobile Money are all here and agents have added it top their existing services and are making an extra buck out of it.

This is no way connected to technological advancement but clearly becoming a money making machine. It was a matter of entertaining a handful of guests who had gathered after paying Shs 3,000. Today even TV stations are signing them up to be included in the program, line ups for their viewing audiences. The original group Theatre Factory has even split giving rise to another group Fun Factory. The latest is Club Silk that has introduced Comedy as part of their menu and the charge is 25,000 per head. Quite amazing bearing in mind that before these were guys entertaining just for laughs.

Small Office Home Office(SOHO) has sprung up as a result of the internet becoming more affordable. For as little as Shs 20,000 per week, One can have access to unlimited internet. With this kind of arrangement, the number of offices at home is on the increase for jobs like Air ticketing, Tour and Travel and Web Design Services among others.

Loan Sales Executives
No doubt this is a new trend as a result of banks becoming more flexible on noticing that other than asking for land titles as collateral, you can now use one's job/salary as security. Loan sale executives are now massively deployed to recruit more customers for the loans. The number of the employed is still very low so the same executives bounce back trying to lure the customers into loan top ups in the process trapping customers into the loan rat race.

Importing Cars
It is not surprising  that the number of cars coming into the country is increasing every month. This is made possible by the internet. One simply logs onto a website and looks at the available stock and places an order online by sending an email to this company. Payment is made by Telegraphic Transfer(TT) and the car is later shipped to the nearest port to you.

This means that anyone can do this without applying to anyone or being subjected to an interview. Not all websites are genuine though. So there is need to carry out a due diligence and once not sure, please resort to the traditional methods.
Posted by: uowd AT 03:18 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, December 12 2009

The latest from Uganda Telecom is that its subscribers who are signed up on facebook or twitter will be able to download messages directly to their cell phones with the help of an SMS.  To sign up for facebook  sms application, you need to send an fbme sms to 2299 and a reply sms will be sent back which you have to follow to authorize the service to link to your profile.

This also means you will be able to update your profile using your phone. In the same vein, you can fetch information from your face book wall by typing fb and send to 2299 and updates will be sent directly to your phone.

Similar steps are undertaken for twitter by sending tweetme to 2299 and on each step a web link will be sent which you are supposed to follow to take you through the various steps while merging your account with your phone.

Twitter is a micro blogging system aimed at alerting those following you what you are doing at that point in time. That is why when you log on to the twitter website, you are instantly asked what are you doing right now? May be you are watching a movie, or taking a cup of hot coffee at the million dollar view hill.

Whereas facebook is a social networking website which lets you post your videos, photos, link to your favorite websites, add your friends to your page. It currently has over 320million users. A radio listeners club, or classmates are among the very many groups or individuals that can put a face book page to good use.

Today, the very fast gathering as a result of facebook activity gathered here in Kampala dubbed Old Skool Re Union. Meanwhile, all the above technological advancements do not attract any charges as the service is entirely free.

Posted by: uowd AT 08:51 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, April 29 2009

Telecommunication in Uganda

Operating a call booth is still on but one wonders for how long. It has taken various forms from a well configured booth to manually operated phones along road sides.

Back in the days calls from the booths could cost you about 500/- but as of now a minute from these booths will go for 200/- per minute across all networks. This simply means that as that business registers low sales continuously, the vendors have been forced to strategically concentrate on airtime sales and sim packs.

The Telecom carriers are even not making it any better for an average vendor of a booth, because they are literally eating into this very market with new products that are being introduced every other day. Orange came in with 3IN1. You buy a phone as cheap as 39,000/- which comes with airtime and 3 sim cards. Calling within those three numbers costs you 10 shillings per minute at least as per the promotion that ends May 01, 2009.

MTN will give you free messages every time you load airtime making it harder for the booths operators. Airtime of 500 shillings was introduced by MTN for example but looks like the vendors sabotaged it. This was directly eating into the booths sales because from the airtime of 500 shillings, one could easily make a call and send an sms or two as opposed to making one call from a booth and yet you are not comfortable as the operator is monitoring the calling time before you are disconnected.

Public areas like the General Post Office have had to clear the entire area of calling booths as they were posing a security threat.

Posted by: uowd AT 12:18 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, April 18 2009

Mobile Money Transfer Now in Uganda 
Once you have enabled your sim card to become MTN Mobile enabled as opposed to sending money to friends and relatives, you can also buy airtime.

Go to MTN Menu> Mobile Money> Buy> MTN Airtime> Amount> 5,000 >Mobile Number>......>Confirm Entry> Ok> MM Pin.....> Confirmation message will follow.

If you have more than 5,000 or 5,000 shillings as balance on your mobile money account, you can use it to buy airtime in case it runs out and yet you were in the middle of an important call with no airtime vendor near by.

It is important to note that you cannot buy airtime below 5,000 as that is the minimum amount to be sent for moblie money transfers.

Posted by: uowd AT 04:51 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, April 14 2009
Sending an SMS will return with a pin code worth of Internet surfing time. This is what Uganda Telecom mobile wifi hotspots can do for you.
A number of hotspot zones are in place implying that if you are in these places and you send an sms to the details which will be provided at the end of the article, you will be able to surf the internet on your GSM/GPRS enabled phone.
You can still go to any internet café to access the net but in case you are in any of these places i.e. Fat Boys Chicago Restaurant, Iguana and Just Kicking all in Kisementi, Java Coffee shop on Bombo road, Good African Coffee at Shoprite Lugogo plus Hotel Triangle & Jinja Nile Resort in Jinja, you will be able to use this service.
How Do You Get Your Surf Time?
Simply go to messages type UTHS1 and send to 167. This will cost you 2,000/-(Two Thousand shillings only) which is the equivalent of 1 USD and a pin for 1 hour surfing time will be sent to you in return. Do the same if you want more hours by replacing one with 3 or 6 and you will be charged 5,000/- and 10,000/- Ugx respectively.
Other hotspot areas in Kampala are Mateos, Tal Cottages in Rubaga and Pizzeria Restaurant in Bugolobi.
This is applicable to UTL subscribers with phones enabled to do that but other carriers will certainly roll out similar plans. WARID has a modem going for 150,000/- and a monthly of 85,000/- to at least get you moving for 30 days. You must have a computer or laptop though as the tools required.
Posted by: uowd AT 02:40 am   |  Permalink   |  25 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 25 2009

In the past it was a matter of holding a phone for purposes of calling, receiving plus sending sms. This has now changed with more sophisticated phones which are doing more than just calling but also serving as Radios, Digital Camera's, Video recorders, Voice recorders, MP3/MP4 players and surfing the internet among others.

Depending on the type of phone, you can also be located using Google Earth. The phone will reveal your location to whoever may be looking for you.

MTN has just launched a service that enables anyone to send money to another person with a mobile phone. The amount to be sent varies from 5,000 to 1,000,000/- within Uganda only. The charge for sending and receiving is affordable.

Uganda has five Telecom operators whose services target majorly mobile phone users and the big five are: MTN, UTL, WARID, ZAIN and Orange the last entrant in the industry. Other services being handled by these companies include ISPs, Fax Services, Landline and so on and so forth.

This has also created a chain of indirect jobs like vending airtime, repairing phones plus sale of phone accessories which was otherwise not their in the past.

On the contrary though, the parliament of Uganda is looking at the possibility of making phone tapping possible so that once you are suspected of transferring illicit information through your phone, then the law can catch up with you.

Posted by: uowd AT 04:31 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 16 2009
  • Zain -Formerly Celtel now Zain with its head office at Wampewo Av.075 is the number for subscribers on the Zain network.
  • Orange - The latest addition in the Uganda telecommunication sector. Orange Uganda acquired Hits Telecom that had not yet kicked off operations and the number for Orange customers starts with 079. The road where DHL head offices are is the same road where Orange Head quarters are located.
  • Warid - The massive launch of WARID in this country cannot be forgotten. With its head office at Hannington Road, WARID offers GSM and internet services. The numbers start with 070.
  • UTL - Uganda Telecom specializes in mobile and data. Their network is 3g compatible. They have also partnered with some locations to offer hotspot zones which can avail internet on the go. Their numbers start with 071.
  • MTN - Mobile Telecom Network (MTN) while numbers start with 077 or 078 and 031 for landlines. They have now introduced a service that allows one to send money to any mobile phone in Uganda.
Posted by: uowd AT 05:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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