Our Guest of Honour - the Minister for Information and Communications Technology,
The Permanent Secretary/MoICT,
The CEO, management and staff of Smile Communications Networks Ltd
Ladies and Gentlemen
I feel privileged to attend this ceremony when Smile Communications Networks Ltd is launching its 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) broadband services.
Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to congratulate Smile Communications Networks Ltd for this great milestone and to thank them for this key innovation. This development indeed demystifies the notion that Internet is a preserve of the middle class.
Smile Communications Uganda Limited, a local registered telecommunications company holds both Public Service Provider (PSP) and Public Infrastructure Provider (PIP) licences issued on 3rd July 2008. Smile began network roll-out immediately and launched commercial services in 2009.
In 2011, Smile Communications applied for extra spectrum and begun rolling out a Long Term Evaluation (LTE) network in the 800MHz band in Kampala. Smile Communications has installed infrastructure based on international standards through which it is currently providing internet access services in Kampala over the LTE network.
Smile Communications radio network equipments and end user device for LTE network have been type approved and certified for use in Uganda. Thus Smile Communications complies with the requirement of always Type Approving their equipment.
As you may be aware, LTE is a wireless broadband technology designed to support roaming Internet access via cell phones and handheld devices. Because LTE offers significant improvements over older cellular communication standards, some refer to it as a 4G (fourth generation) technology along with WiMax.
LTE can theoretically support downloads at 300 Megabits per second (Mbps) or more based on experimental trials. Internationally, the trend has moved from looking at universal access and service in terms of voice telephony and has shifted to a data-centric approach or triple play (voice, data and video) with everything going e- and growth in significance of the Internet as well as other developments such as cloud computing.
Therefore, as a regulator of the communications sector in Uganda, UCC gladly welcomes this development because it will enable universal access to the internet services like we have done with voice telephony service.
However, we at UCC believe that the deployment and use of LTE and other emerging technologies should be affordable and accessible.
UCC is optimistic that Smile Communications Networks Ltd and other telecom service providers will continue in this direction of availing low-cost devices of high quality to our people. We call on other industry players to emulate Smile Communications Networks Ltd in driving innovation suited to the people of Uganda.
Thank you for your attention.
Mr Godfrey Mutabazi
June 6, 2013