MTN Uganda receives 10-year operating licence

MTN Uganda agrees to pay $100 million for the renewal of its operating licence that expired in October 2018.
Read time 6min 50sec

A handful of smallish acquisitions/proposed acquisitions were the highlights of a quiet international ICT market last week.

At home, it was also very quiet.

Key local news of the past week

  • A full-year loss from CIVH, although revenue up 14.2%.
  • A positive trading update from Datatec, EOH (although a loss still forecast) and Telemasters.
  • A negative trading update from ISA.
  • Robotic process automation vendor Blue Prism is formalising its presence in SA with the opening of a local office in Cape Town. Greg Newton, Blue Prism’s former sales director for Africa, is relocating from Blue Prism’s UK office to serve as the new SA country manager.

Key African news

  • Cameroonian telecoms operator CamTel has received three licences from the Telecommunications Regulatory Board (ART) following a restructuring of the state-owned firm last year.
  • MTN Uganda has agreed to pay $100 million for the renewal of its operating licence that expired in October 2018.
  • MTN Group has confirmed it has received regulatory approval for the disposal of its stake in ATC Ghana.
  • Africell Holding, which operates mobile networks in Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda, has announced the completion of a strategic group reorganisation involving the opening of a new UK head office and the legal incorporation of Africell’s US-owned parent company in Jersey (Channel Islands).
  • The appointment of Sherifa Hady as Aruba’s channel sales director for the EMEA region.

Key international news

  • UK-based Ascential acquired China-based digital commerce solutions provider Yimian Data.
  • EPAM Systems bought Deltix, which provides software and services for quantitative research, algorithmic trading and execution analytics across equities, futures, options, FX, fixed income and digital assets.
  • Idera purchased FusionCharts, an India-headquartered bootstrapped data visualisation solution provider.
  • Brazil-based Hotmart, an online education company, acquired Teachable for $250 million.
  • BT is selling a large chunk of its Latin American operations to CIH Technology. This sale sees BT’s exit from 16 of the 28 LatAm countries it currently does business in, which represents about a quarter of the 60 countries in which BT operates globally.
  • Dover has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Em-tec, a leading designer and manufacturer of flow measurement devices.
  • Fox will acquire video streaming firm Tubi for about $440 million.
  • France's competition watchdog has fined Apple €1.1 billion, alleging it was guilty of anti-competitive behaviour towards its distribution and retail network.

France's competition watchdog has fined Apple €1.1 billion.

  • Hellman & Friedman has agreed to purchase Checkmarx for a $1.15 billion valuation in the largest-ever acquisition of an application security company.
  • Tim Ti, UTStarcom's CEO, will take a temporary medical leave of absence, effective immediately.
  • Baidu has made a $100 million investment in Shanghai-listed e-reading app developer iReader.
  • Insight Partners led a $100 million investment in UserTesting, the provider of a customer experience platform.
  • The US International Trade Commission will open an investigation into possible patent violations involving touch-controlled mobile phones, computers and computer parts by Apple, Amazon and a slew of other companies, following a complaint filed by Neodron of Ireland.
  • Excellent quarterly results from DouYu International (back in the black) and HUYA.
  • Very good quarterly figures from Tencent and Tencent Music (back in the black).
  • Good quarterly numbers from Momo.
  • Good half-year figures from Softcat.
  • Good year-end numbers from Iteq and KYEC (Taiwan).
  • Satisfactory quarterly results from Accenture.
  • Satisfactory year-end figures from Nan Ya (back in the black) and Sino-American Silicon Products.
  • Mediocre year-end numbers from Holders Technology.
  • Mixed quarterly figures from Formula Systems and JOYY, with revenue up but net income down.
  • Mixed year-end figures from Telit Communications (back in the black), with revenue down but net income up.
  • Very poor quarterly figures from QAD.
  • Quarterly losses from Bilibili, Coupa Software, CrowdStrike, GDS Holdings, MongoDB, PagerDuty, Qutoutiao, Smartsheet and Wireless Telecom Group.
  • Half-year losses from CAP-XX and Eagle Eye Solutions.
  • Full-year losses from Bango, Motech, PSMC and Tribal.
  • The appointments of Thomas Bartlett as CEO of American Tower; Zhaochen Huang as acting CEO of UTStarcom; and James Taiclet as CEO of Lockheed Martin.
  • The resignations of Marillyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin; and James Taiclet, CEO of American Tower.
  • An IPO filing for China’s Nasdaq-like STAR Market from Ucap Cloud Information Technology Co, a provider of Internet services and big data solutions.
  • An IPO filing for Nasdaq from Chinese phone-maker UTime.
  • A satisfactory IPO on China’s ChiNext board by Bestek Technology, a company that manufactures smart controller and electronic products.

Research results and predictions


  • Kenya's smartphone market saw shipments increase 20.3% year-on-year in Q419, according to IDC. Elsewhere in East Africa, Tanzania and Uganda experienced year-on-year growth of 8.7% and 8.6% respectively. In 2019, these three markets combined saw total smartphone shipments of 10.7 million units, up 13.3% on the 9.4 million units that were shipped in 2018.
  • The META smart home devices market – which includes smart home appliances, home monitoring/security, lighting, smart speakers, thermostats and video entertainment devices – saw strong growth in Q419, with the market expanding 35.6% year-on-year in Q419 to reach 5.3 million units, according to IDC.


  • The worldwide server market continued to grow in Q419 as revenue increased 5.1% and shipments grew 11.7% year-on-year, according to Gartner. In 2019, worldwide server shipments declined 3.1% and server revenue declined 2.5% compared with full-year 2018.
  • The global wearables market is expected to grow 9.4% in 2020, reaching 368.2 million shipments, according to IDC. This marks a significant slowing of the market compared to the 89% growth in 2019, as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts supply in the first half of 2020. Nevertheless, healthy growth is expected to continue throughout the forecast period as shipments reach 526.8 million units by the end of 2024, with a CAGR of 9.4%.
  • Worldwide shipments of augmented reality and virtual reality headsets are forecast to decline in the first half of 2020 due to supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, according to IDC. A decline of 10.5% is expected in the first quarter, followed by a 24.1% decline in the second quarter. However, assuming production ramps back up by midyear, IDC believes a rebound in the second half of 2020 will result in total shipments of nearly 7.1 million units for the year, up 23.6% from 2019. Long-term growth will be strong throughout the forecast period, with shipments growing to 76.7 million units in 2024, resulting in a CAGR of 81.5%.
  • Worldwide converged systems market revenue increased 1.1% year-over-year to $4.2 billion during 4Q19, according to IDC.

Stock market changes

  • JSE All share index: Down 8.8%
  • FTSE100: Down 3.3%
  • DAX: Down 3.3%
  • NYSE (Dow): Down 17.3%
  • S&P 500: Down 15%
  • Nasdaq: Down 12.6%
  • Nikkei225: Down 5%
  • Hang Seng: Down 5.1%
  • Shanghai: Down 4.9%

Look out for


South Africa:

  • More news regarding Cell C.

Final word

Fast Company has published its 2020 list of the ‘World’s Most Innovative Companies’. Included in the list are:

  • 1: Snap, for setting the social agenda.
  • 2: Microsoft, for coalescing teams.
  • 5: HackerOne, the provider of a vulnerability co-ordination and bug bounty platform that connects businesses with penetration testers and cyber security researchers, for putting hackers to work.
  • 7: Shopify, for enabling the shopkeeper of the future.
  • 8: Canva, the provider of a graphic design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters and other visual content. It is available on Web and mobile, and integrates millions of images, fonts, templates and illustrations, for unleashing corporate creativity.
  • 9: Roblox, for gamifying gaming.
  • 11: Kaios Technologies, for outsmarting the smartphone market.
  • 15: Spotify, for becoming a podcasting powerhouse.
  • 23: Vimeo, for successfully pivoting to enterprise video.
  • 29: Strava, a social-fitness network, for using data to put athletes first.
  • 30: Immuta, for helping companies comply with evolving data privacy rules.
  • 39: Apple, for changing the games.
  • 43: Graphcore, for processing AI’s true potential.
  • 48:, for diagnosing with smartphones.
See also