MTN Operating Licence Will Be Renewed In Uganda - UCC
Uganda Communications Commission will reinstate the operating licence of the local unit of the MTN Group, a South African telecom company, albeit coming with “new stricter terms.”
According to Mr Frank Tumwebaze, Uganda's Minister of ICT, MTN was given the official go-ahead and has been working closely with the UCC and the Attorney General of Uganda to ensure that this renewed licence has clear terms and conditions to make sure that quality service is given.
MTN Uganda is the largest telecom entity in the East African Country, with 11.2 million subscribers and it competes with a local unit of Bharti Airtel in India and other smaller companies. It was launched in Uganda in 1998 shortly after receiving a 20-year operating license which was due to expire this year.
Since last year UCC has been assessing the application for a ten-year extension of MTN’s licence and last month the regulator asked MTN to agree to list its shares on the local stock exchange as one of the conditions for the renewal. MTN has not been available to comment on this matter.
MTN Uganda has recently been under fire on social media platforms, namely Facebook and Twitter from a number of subscribers over data bundles getting used up too quickly and MTN not responding to or following up on their complaints.
Uganda’s telecoms industry has developed immensely over the last years, but analysts say that a new tax on social media usage could potentially threaten the prospects for fresh investment in the sector.
In addition to its decision to renew MTN’s licence, Uganda has also approved the National Broadband Policy established to avoid wastage and duplication of resources in the provision of broadband among the larger stakeholders in the ICT sector.