By David Mugabe [New Vision]
Value added services (VAS) such as bulk messaging, games and pranks are on the rise with growing use of data.
Information from the International Telecommunications Union indicates that internet access & usage in Uganda has risen from 40,000 in 2000 to two million in 2008 and to about five million in 2012.
These has seen more service providers emerge with and prices have declined as well.
There has been a quick uptake and proliferation of value added services which estimates show contribute upto 30% of revenue to telecoms in markets such as Asia providing a big alternative source of revenue.
The VAS operators share the profit with the telecom who provide the VAS with the subscriber outreach base.
Locally, Eiffel’s, a VAS company has introduced a bulk sms installer that enables one to create an account even on their laptop to send sms either to a single user or many users.
The Eiffel allows one to create and store over one million numbers in the address or phonebook which they can quickly use to disburse short messages.
Frank Semakula, the proprietor of Eiffel installer, said creating an account costs sh10,000 and one immediately gets 100 free messages.
The system is also connected to the mobile money platform that enables one to transfer money on their own.
“Any computer that has the software from anywhere can load, you can also buy the rights,” said Semakula adding that the buyer then shares revenue with owner.
The software can send messages to all networks including international while the platform once installed on the computer allows one to advertise their business on the same site.
But in Uganda, there have been concerns about the level of regulation especially with subscribers getting unsolicited messages.