As of yesterday, Vodafone Uganda, a 4G-LTE high-speed broadband data services provider, has partnered with Uber, the technology company that connects riders to drivers, to provide first class transport services to Ugandans. The partnership will be brought to life through Vodafone Uganda’s provision of 4G mobile devices and data for the first 200 driver-partners operating on the platform, to assist them in operating in and around Kampala.
Uber launched operations in Uganda on June 2, 2016 and riders and driver-partners across the City have been embracing the service with many giving it a thumbs up despite a few operational hiccups that some riders reported. You may have seen some Uber drivers with the Lenovo K3 Note and a Vodafone car charger.
According to Allan Richardson, CEO for Vodafone Uganda, the entry of Uber into the Ugandan market is affirmation of just how much technology can do in terms of solving everyday problems.
“This new exciting partnership with Uber is in line with Vodafone’s passion to use technology for the betterment of people’s lives. In partnering with Uber, an industry leader in its own right, Vodafone is driving the use of technology for safe, and affordable, transport solutions,” he says.
Bertrand Nembot, Uber launcher in Uganda said, “We are looking forward to working with Vodafone Uganda to offer safe and reliable rides to people across Kampala as well as working to reducing traffic congestion challenges within the City. Further, this partnership enables us to create hundreds of economic opportunities across the City.”
Some of the challenges for both Vodafone and Uber are that Vodafone’s coverage is still limited with some areas having no network. This can be terrible for both the riders and drivers since the entire process is based on the app and if there was no coverage, there will be no way of computing how much to pay the driver. For Uber, we’ve seen a few riders having some challenges locating passengers using Google Maps or passengers posting the wrong location because they do not know how to use Google Maps.
In the meantime, anyone downloading and signing up for Uber will get a free first ride up to UShs 15, 000 which they can unlock using the promo code “VODAFONE”. Riders can make use of this until July 31st 2016.