UTL offices in Kampala.

Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) has signed a partnership with AST SpaceMobile, Inc. to extend Internet services to all parts of the country. 

UTL said under the partnership, they will use AST SpaceMobile’s cellular broadband network to provide Ugandans with 100 per cent network and data coverage across the country. 

“The combined effort would explore opportunities to offer Uganda Telecom network users access to AST SpaceMobile’s planned network using their cell phones and other devices, any time, and anywhere within the country, including rural areas that do not currently have cellular broadband service,” UTL said in a statement issued on Tuesday, August 10, 2021.

AST SpaceMobile, Inc is a global telecommunications company that is building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly by standard mobile phones.

The development is a big boost to the Uganda government-owned telecom company that has had a turbulent recent past.

Since 2017, UTL has been under receivership and has not been adequately financed.

 As a result, it can’t keep up the tempo in terms of investment in new equipment (technology) and innovations, which has badly impacted the demand side of the business. In October 2020, UTL went off air for three days after a technical fault.

The High Court in Kampala in 2019 appointed Ruth Sebatindira, the former president of the Uganda Law Society as the new administrator of Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL). She replaced Mr Nelson Twebaze Bemanya whose contract expired in the same year.