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MTN announces new data rates

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MTN Uganda CEO Wim Vanhelleputte (left) addresses the media at the MTN CEO Briefing held at MTN Towers on Tuesday. He is flanked on the right by Olivier Prentout (Chief Marketing Officer).

MTN Uganda CEO Wim Vanhelleputte (left) addresses the media at a briefing held at MTN Towers on Tuesday. He is flanked on the right by Olivier Prentout (Chief Marketing Officer).

MTN Uganda has revised data rates to continue the drive towards ensuring offering affordable internet to Ugandans. The reduction in data is expected to drive further internet connectivity, facilitate business growth and enable communication through internet-based channels.

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The rate reduction, according to Wim Vanhelleputte the MTN Uganda CEO is an indication that as uptake and internet usage continues to grow, the internet rates will also continue to fall. “What we are currently witnessing is data revolution coming into full swing. The reduction in pricing is by over 100%, indicating our commitment towards internet connectivity and affordability for all,” he said.

The revised data bundles are not just price based but also include increased volumes for a lower price. For instance, the lower data bundle threshold has been increased to 15MBs from 10MB at a price of Shs250. For Shs5000, a customer would get 325MB but with the new rates, a customer gets 1GB for that price. This is more value for the customer at the same price.

For Shs100,000, you can now get Shs30GB for a month. In the old rates, a customer had to pay Shs285,000 to get 30GB.

“It is important that our customers not only get lower rates, but also experience a good quality network – where we are keen to continuously invest; everywhere. MTN Uganda over a two year period of 2017 and 2018 has budgeted over Ugshs 400 Billion invested in network upgrades in order to improve customer experience. This will increase our 3G sites and 4G/LTE sites to deliver a bold digital world to our customers,” he added.

According to Wim, MTN Uganda’s planned investment will upgrade the network in order to ensuring quality, good coverage and better experience. Further investment in the network also means the internet speeds continue to improve, which will facilitate business growth and innovation.

“In the world right now, the internet is driving innovation to unprecedented levels. We are seeing this in our numbers and data continues to be one of the fastest growing sources of revenue and subscriptions for MTN Uganda. We expect this trend to continue,” Wim pointed out.

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Museveni meets President of StarTimes Group during FOCAC Summit

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 Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni met with the President of StarTimes Group Pang Xinxing on Wednesday when he was attending the Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing. Mr Pang Xinxing introduced that StarTimes created more than 6000 job opportunities since it started investment in Uganda in 2009 and StarTimes digital TV transmission platforms have enabled Ugandan people to watch rich international and local television programs with an affordable price. Pang said: “We look forward to expanding further bilateral cooperation with our advantageous technology and media resources.” President Museveni appreciated StarTimes’ contribution in Uganda’s digital migration progress and the project of “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages”.
He said that the national digital migration is a very important fundamental project for Ugandan people and it wouldn’t be achieved without StarTimes’ involvement. Museveni also invited Pang to visit Uganda with hoping that StarTimes can have more investment in the country.

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StarTimes now is the biggest digital TV operator in Uganda with holding 75% market because of affordabl prices and rich content services. In August, StarTimes just unveiled the biggest ever single sponsorship in the history of Uganda www.startimestv.com sport after remarkably securing the Uganda Premier League and FUFA Big League “Title and Broadcasting Rights” from FUFA for a staggering US$ 7,240,000 for 10 years starting with the
2018/2019 season. The Vice President of StarTimes Uganda company, Mr Aldrine Nsubuga said: “We however don’t just want to entertain football fans with foreign football, we want to be relevant to local football fans. We want them to appreciate their local football and support it with a greater passion which is why we want to bring the local league in every household through our broadcast platforms.” The project of “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages” is a China-Africa Cooperation program, which was announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping on December 4th, 2015 when he was present at the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. The project is aimed at enabling African families in rural areas to have access to the digital signal with high-quality images and rich TV programs. There will be around 10,000 villages in more than 20 African countries benefiting from the project of “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages”. For Uganda, 500 villages are
included in this China-Africa cooperation project. As Africa’s leading digital TV operator, StarTimes is undertaking the whole project. On 20th July, StarTimes launched the project of “Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages” in Uganda.

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Emirates offers Ugandan travelers attractive offers to Dubai

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Emirates

Major Lazer in Kampala, ticket details here

Emirates is offering Ugandan travelers the opportunity to visit Dubai, available at a very special offer for Economy and Business Class roundtrip, a free third piece of luggage of up to 23 kg and a month’s tourist visa included in the offer.

Under the special offer, an Economy Class ticket from Entebbe to Dubai costs $359 and Business Class $1,309. The special offer is for a limited time only and tickets must be booked between 13th September 2018 and 27th September 2018, while travel must take place between 13th September 2018 and 31st March 2019. The cost of the ticket includes airport taxes.

Emirates is also offering a 3rd piece of luggage of up to 23kg for Economy Class and up to 32kg for Business Class, with a one-month tourist visa included.

Dubai provides a great escape for visitors. Its year-round sunshine, world-class shopping and restaurants, stunning beaches and iconic buildings offers something for the whole family. Visitors to Dubai can enjoy some of the city’s must-see places like Global Village – multi-cultural festival park and shopping destination – as well as theme parks such as Wild Wadi Waterpark and IMG World of Adventures. The city also offers a wide range of accommodation to suit all budgets.

On all Emirates’ flights, customers can look forward to hours of entertainment on the award-winning inflight entertainment system, ice, which offers over 3,000 channels of on demand audio and visual entertainment, from the latest movies, music, audio books and games, as well as family friendly products and services for children, including complimentary toys, kids’ meals and movies, priority boarding for families and the use of free strollers at Dubai International Airport.

In addition to the on-board comforts and products, customers will experience the world famous hospitality from Emirates’ multinational cabin crew who come from 135 nationalities and speak over 60 languages, while enjoying chef prepared regional and international cuisine, using the freshest ingredients, accompanied by a wide range of complimentary wines and beverages.

Emirates flies daily from Entebbe to Dubai.

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MTN floors Threeways Shipping Group to recover USD 4 million

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By Our Reporter

Threeways Shipping Services Group Ltd’s persistent applications to courts in a fervent effort to block the hearing of a suit filed by MTN against it and its Directors for recovery of USD 3,761,933 has hit a dead end in a fresh ruling by the High Court Judge, Justice Billy Kainamura of the commercial division who dismissed it with costs.

In his ruling on September 12th 2018, Justice Kainamura agreed with the position fronted by MTN Lawyers that the case involves enormous sums of money and justice would be furthered if the suit is heard on its merits. He further held that Threeways had not set out any legal grounds disputing the hearing of the case and the hearing of the suit had been frustrated by Threeways incessant applications.

The fresh ruling stems from a suit MTN filed against Threeways for defrauding the telecom giant of USD 4million in fictitious claims. Threeways allegedly made the fictitious claims to MTN between March 2009 and April 2012 on over 130 invoices with collusion of two former MTN employees: John Paul Basabosa and Naphtali Were and were paid colossal sums of money. The two employees were jointly sued with Threeways.

However, in 2014 the Commercial court presided over by Justice Christopher Madrama ruled that it was wrong for MTN to pursue the case against Threeways shipping Services yet there was a memorandum signed not to pursue a criminal case against the company at the anti corruption court.

Since then there has been back and forth appeals with MTN seeking to reinstate the suit and Threeways seeking to block it, resulting into the Wednesday ruling in which Justice Kainamura asserted thus: “I am inclined to agree with Counsel for the respondent, this case involves enormous sums of money and justice would be furthered if the suit is heard on its merits. On this premise, I dismiss this application with costs.”

MTN Lawyer Bruce Musinguzi said the next course of action is to set down the main suit for hearing at the earliest possible date to enable a speedy conclusion of the case.

A top official at MTN who preferred anonymity because the matter is still before court expressed happiness with the ruling. “It was just a matter of time before the truth comes out,” he said, adding, “You cant defraud a reputable company in broad day light, with all the glaring evidence and continue walking around with impunity. We are happy that court will finally dispense justice in a fair hearing.”

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