Lycamobile Uganda has today received its first National Telecom Operator license (NTO) from the Uganda Communication Commission. Unlike regular operation licenses, the National Telecom Operator (NTO) license is only awarded to network operators who pledge countrywide connectivity. Currently, Uganda has only 3 NTO license holders namely: MTN Uganda, Airtel Uganda, and now, Lycamobile Uganda.
With the new NTO license awarded to Lycamobile with effect from 24th March 2021, the telco will extend its network coverage to all parts of Uganda with base coverage in Kampala as it is with most network service providers. Across the world, Lycamobile partners with local network hosts that already have physical equipment to route its traffic to the end customer.
In all its present markets, Lyca Mobile has come to be known as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), and by this standard, the new NTO license means Lycamobile Uganda will rollout its 4G-only network to all parts of Uganda through partnering with other NTO license holders like MTN and Airtel instead of deploying its own network masts.
As part of the NTO license requirements, Lycamobile Uganda will also list 20% of its shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) market in accordance with the listing rules and guidelines set by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA). This means, Lycamobile Uganda will be a publically traded company where an everyday Ugandan can buy shares through the local stocks market.
According to the Lycamobile Uganda CEO Vinay Choudary, the company was set to grow and expand upon its launch in Uganda early last year. When the company launched, we expected it to be a short-term telco that may follow the unpopularity path set by Smart Uganda, Vodacom, and other providers. But instead, Vinay has confirmed that Lycamobile Uganda is here to stay now that it has applied for an upgraded operation license.
At the moment, Lycamobile run short of SIMCards due to high demand from customers exceeding their initial plan and network capabilities. This forced several customers to complain of slow network speeds, a complaint that was later addressed to maintain the best network quality for all users.
As per its offerings headlined by 20GB at UGX 10,000, 50GB at 25,000 and many more data bundles on its radar, Lycamobile is by far the best mobile internet services provider in Uganda beating MTN, Airtel, Africell in a game they dominate with high prices on data and voice bundles.
Now, with an NTO license, Lycamobile is set to expand to more regions in Uganda and offer border to border connectivity. From Arua to Kisoro, Kasese to Busia, Karamoja to Kampala, Lycamobile will be another mobile network operator roaming 4G network signals to customers in urban and semi-urban settlements. The new Lycamobile Uganda NTO license was handed over to the company by UCC’s Executive Director in the presence of relevant delegates.