Tag Archives: Telecom

Telecom giants fight to paint Uganda in all colors of the rainbow

The field of color psychology attempts to identify the effects of color on human emotion and activity.

The field of color psychology attempts to identify the effects of color on human emotion and activity.

It is amazing to see rural africa painted in the colors of telecom companies. I wonder if people have an opinion about this? Is this a positive or negative development? What are the implications for the people living in these buildings and surrounding communities? If you spend 40% of your income on mobile phone credit, live in a house painted by your telecom provider and depend on most of your income from selling scratch cards, its fair to say the communications industry impacts your life. And is this simply a creative way to make some money and get your building painted or has it somewhere crossed the line?

I will post additional photos as my collection grows! Will also work to add some interviews and impressions from people across the country. Till now I have heard some people say they liked it or didn’t mind. Others have said they were bothered by the colors. Needless to say its time to dig deeper.

zain4

mtn3

warid2

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Fake Mobile Phones in Kampala

Fake Nokia N95

Fake Nokia N95

Fake Nokia N95 - Back

Fake Nokia N95 - Back

Kampala – April 7th, 2009

Today I found someone with what looked like a Nokia N95. Looking at the phone I realized that it was bigger then the ones I have seen in Europe. I asked to see it and was surprised by how lightweight it was. The size of the screen was also larger than the N95 I am used to. I didn’t quite realize what was going on until the owner started laughing. He told me the phone was actually what he calls a ‘Nokia N95 China.’ Otherwise a complete knockoff on the original:) He was able to buy it second hand and mentioned the retail price was about euro 100. I asked about the quality and he mentioned he has some problems with the phone. Sometimes people call him and the phone doesn’t pick up the call. Other times the calls are simply dropped.

Still, the quality is surprising and the phone offers full functionality. I wonder how many phones on the streets of Kampala are fake and how big of an issue this might be for the hardware companies like Nokia. Anyone have some more data on this? Will see what else I can find out!

Mobile Everywhere in Kampala

ict4entrepreneurship-zain-poster-2

Kampala – April 6th, 2009

I have just arrived in Uganda and can tell you that the presence of the mobile phone is felt and seen everywhere! Just some notes from my trip from the airport. Upon arriving the first thing you notice is the Orange signs welcoming you to the Entebbe airport. They are now the fifth operator to start up here in the country. Despite the competition they must see a lot of business opportunity. Will double check but heard their initial investment was around 200 million USD (MTN is the largest network in the country, others include Zain, Uganda Telecom and Warid).

Driving from the airport you see nothing but advertisements for mobile networks, phones and services. As in many other countries, Zain has come to Uganda with a mission to paint as many buildings as possible in their bright fucia red and turquoise blue. Have to say the combination stands out when compared to the more neutral Orange and Red of the old Celtel brand. Apparently, Zain and the other companies offer to paint your building for free. Of course you have to be willing to live and work in their colors!

Our driver also had sim cards waiting for us. We had to try a couple of the networks before we could find one with good reception. I thought it was interesting that he has three sim cards (none with any credit) and two mobile phones. Our second friend who came to pick us up had 5 sim cards (one for each network) and three mobile phones (two pre paid). He still has to activate the Orange account but has it on hand just in case!

Ben

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ICT 4 Entrepreneurship