Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has called upon government agencies to embrace information technology for ease of doing government business and also enabling citizens to easily access government services.

P.M Rugunda (C),ICT P.S Bagire (P.M’s R) and Airtel MD, Somasekhar (P.M’s L) launch Airtel countrywide 3G mobile broadband at Serena Hotel, Kampala on Wednesday.Left is UCC’s Otunnu while Right is Airtel Board chairman

The Premier made the remarks at the launch of Airtel countrywide 3G mobile broadband at Kampala Serena Hotel on Wednesday.

The upgrade in technology to 100% mobile broadband means that all Airtel Uganda subscribers will now have access to high speed internet, regardless of their geographical location.

Rugunda applauded Airtel Uganda for upgrading to faster and more affordable internet access.

He said over the years, government has invested in providing the necessary information Technology backbone in the country, and therefore Airtel’s investment in the ICT sector supports government in terms of delivery and access to information on government programs.

Rugunda however cautioned that the internet should be used for productive purposes.

“Internet should be used productively and not in unproductive connectivity. Use it for cutting red tape, enhancing service delivery and production,” the Premier said.

Rugunda also called upon other companies in this business to emulate Airtel Uganda by making their services more reliable and accessible to the community, adding that internet propels prosperity of the country through easing access to service delivery.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology and National Guidance, Vincent Bagiire said Airtel Uganda’s new countrywide 3G mobile broadband is affordable, which complements the Ministry’s need of addressing the high cost of data as directed by the President.

“Uganda has a young generation searching for data and opportunities, which Airtel Uganda has done. I am sure the services will be utilized all over the country, because of the lower cost of internet to the citizens,” Bagiire said.

P.M Rugunda addresses guests during the launch of Airtel countrywide 3G mobile broadband at Serena Hotel, Kampala on Wednesday (Photo by PMPU)

The head of Communications at Uganda Communications Commission, Fred Otunnu said the Government has provided an enabling environment in terms of regulation to attract investments in the telecommunications sector.

He said with convergence of technology, issues of regulation have shifted to focus on data costs, content and usage, as well as social media platforms among others.

He said the current concern of the regulator is to ensure that technology is used in a manner that promotes peace, development and tranquility.

Otuunu cautioned the public to be alert on the cyber-crimes that are happening due to the wrongful use of the internet.

The Managing Director of Airtel Uganda, V. G Somasekhar said the launch of the countrywide 3G mobile broadband is as a result of Airtel’s commitment to ensure that data which is a valuable resource in today’s era is unlocked and made available to every citizen.

“Airtel Uganda has invested USD 50 million in this financial year 2017/18 with a goal to ensure Uganda is 100% mobile broadband in the next 4 months. Currently 154 new sites are being rolled out. An additional 165 sites are under implementation with an objective to enhance rural capacity and coverage thus providing an unmatched internet experience to our customers,” Somasekhar said.

He said internet will enhance the country’s transformation in terms of prosperity and growth through digitalization, E-commerce, ICT and job creation among others. He said it will also enable creation of online identity, communication and business for the citizens.

Airtel Uganda is a telecommunication company in Uganda operating under Bharti Airtel Limited, a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 17 countries across Asia and Africa.

Ends 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

BY DOREEN NASASIRA