If there is anything stressing Uganda’s business community, for sale it’s the unreliability and high cost of internet.
Either one is struggling with intermittent outages or unsure when the bundle will be used up.
Unlike in other countries, here one pays through the nose for a faster service.
Additionally, there is nothing like ‘unlimited internet’ as customers resort to ‘fair usage’ when the bundle is fully consumed.
Amid these challenges, a new company, ISPA Ltd, has set foot in Uganda, changing the internet market landscape.
Ugandan businesses will now be able to access high speed internet courtesy of the new retail internet services provider.
Chimp Corp, Kim Aine (CR), spoke to ISPA Chief Executive Officer, Peter Maridadi (PM):
CR: Why did you choose to join the Uganda market?
PM: Uganda is a highly liberalized economy with very good legal and regulatory frame work especially in ICT industry.
It is also part of the larger market East African community and besides, there are companies and organizations that are operating in both countries who would like to work with one provider.
CR: For how long have you operated in Rwanda?
PM: ISPA Ltd which is a sister company to EABS Ltd has operated in Rwanda since 2006 when the business of internet was the most challenging due to high cost of internet capacity then which was mostly through satellite.
Things have changed since then. Today in Rwanda and Uganda one can have access to more than three submarine cable and this has made internet access affordable and we believe everybody should have access to internet at home and work.
CR: How unique is your internet?
PM: We have been in this business for some time, and we believe this is the best time in this sector where data consumption is growing at an exponential rate
But specifically we want to address the issues of Reliability, unlimited downloads/uploads and of course price affordability which have been a challenge.
This is where we think we can be different.
CR: What are the different costs of internet for business and personal use?
PM: Our prices are competitive with other prices on the market. These will depend on the capacity one purchases and technology used, but all in all quality is not compromised.
CR: Can one reroute internet back home after office work?
PM: Sure, this is one concept that we introduced in Rwanda and we can do it here.
If you are buying capacity from us for your office, we believe after work that capacity is not used yet you need it at home.
We will therefore charge you an extra fee so that after work and weekend you can still enjoy broadband at home.
CR: What experience should the customers expect?
PM: Customers should expect reliability of the service and unlimited download/upload no matter the speed you subscribe to.
CR: How can you assure your customers that the internet service is unlimited?
PM: We give a customer a monitoring tool to be able to monitor his/her speed at all times.
In this case what matters is speed you subscribe to. But the service is unlimited to any downloads/uploads.
CR: How does one subscribe to your internet service?
PM: A customer can visit our website www.eabs.ug, and then send us a request or call us, then our team will visit customer for site survey and recommend type of connection options for customer to choose.
CR: Do you give trial tests? If so, what are the costs involved?
PM: Yes we do give trials at no extra cost and once you try, certainly you will subscribe.
CR: How reliable is your internet service especially for office users?
PM: As I said above, our service is reliable. A customer signs a service level agreement that gives a guarantee.
CR: What other benefits can the customer enjoy while using your service?
PM: In most cases our customers give testimony of benefits of using our services
But we also give bandwidth on demand especially for customers who may not have budget to maintain bigger capacities like small hotels who may require upgrading when hosting meetings and then go back to their original capacity after the meeting.