Uganda's Safeboda enters into a partnership with MTN

Uganda's ride-hailing company, SafeBoda, has entered into a partnership with MTN, Uganda's leading telecom company. This will allow SafeBoda riders to use the SafeBoda app with zero data. As long as they are using an MTN sim card.

Both made the announcement on their social media platforms. SafeBoda wrote: "you can now use the app with zero data."

"We are excited to announce that SafeBoda and MTN Uganda have partnered to give customers access to the #SafeBoda app at zero MBs."

This move comes at a time when the once only ride-hailing company for boda-bodas has come under fierce competition from Uber and Taxify. The two companies started accepting boda-bodas on their platform earlier this year.

See also: Uganda's SafeBoda nolonger Safe, Taxify going after it

On the surface, the partnership is good for SafeBoda as it will allow the startup to tap into users who might not have a data connection at all times.

For MTN, it's a move to sway users from its competitors who are trying to gain an edge over it when it comes to data subscribers. As well as promote their Pulse promotion among young people.

"Under the partnership, SafeBoda will provide free rides worth UGX 5,000 that will be

given out to MTN Pulsers every month based on MTN Pulse bundles that they activate," part of the press release read.

It could also mean that MTN is looking to invest in SafeBoda. Perhaps, this is one of the precursors to the next stage of a long-term relationship.

No matter how good this move by SafeBoda is, it might lead to arm-twisting from MTN's end. Where the company might not be in a position to open itself up to partnerships with other telecoms.

The way it is with Jumia in Uganda. MTN being an investor in the company, Jumia users can only use MTN to make mobile money payments.

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