The Airtel Uganda Managing Director, Manoj Murali, has appealed to government to reduce taxes on entry level Smartphones in order to reduce the cost of the devices and further reduce the cost of data as more people will be connected to the internet.
The National Development Plan chapter 14 section 328 and 330 identifies the cost of devices as a challenge to the digital future of Uganda.
According to the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Quarter 3 2021 report, the total number of telephone subscriptions is 29.17 million which represents 69% national telephone penetration rates, and of these only 9.4 are smartphones.
The remaining 20.17 are basic and feature phones that are unable to fully harness the power of the internet. The power to do business, access online education, health etc.
Speaking at the unveiling of a 4G smartphone in Uganda at Sheraton hotel Kampala, Murali said this will help grow universal access to affordable internet.
Murali noted that Airtel has made investments and continues to make investments in the 4G network to make it available all the time, innovate and provide affordable solutions and products for the transformation of Uganda.
He says that the 4G Smartphone is an addition to other initiatives the telecommunications company is undertaking to reduce barriers to universal access to affordable internet.
Murali reiterated their commitment to deliver on this front by partnering with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to progressively reduce the cost of end-user smartphones.
“Growing equitable access to the benefits of the internet requires Investment in a 4G network, which Airtel has done. It requires affordable data, which Airtel is known for, and lastly, it requires affordable 4G smart devices. Today we are here to support government in the private sector led digital transformation of Uganda by presenting the cheapest 4G smartphone on the market.”
He added, “we are bringing up to 7 times more data to our customers through the Supa Combos in an effort to reduce the cost of internet, give more people affordable access to the full benefits of the internet and ICT solutions.”
For the customers who prefer Daily Bundles, the bundles have doubled the volumes of data purchased and this will be permanent going forward.
“We are committed to supporting this segment with affordable data because it is the glue for micro enterprises,” he said
The Airtel Benco Y40 boosts of a 5 inch display, long battery life of 2500mAh, and big storage of 32 GB and a good processor of 1.4Ghz quad core.
With these capabilities, this 4G smartphone is well adapted for rural areas where the country needs to grow internet access for the transformation of the lives of our people.
The Airtel 4G Smartphone’s effective price is UGX 163,500/=. While the customer will pay 250,000/= at the outlets, the offer comes with a total UGX 86,500/= worth of 13 GBs data redeemed as 2GB foe the first month and 1GB every month for the next 11 months