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Uganda Communications Commission.

Uganda Communications Commission.
Tel: + 256 414 339000 | Fax: + 256 414 348832

Location: UCC House Plot 42 - 44, Spring road, Bugolobi, Kampala, Uganda
Postal Address: P.O. Box 7376 Kampala, Uganda

UCC: Foreign trips key for Uganda communication sector’s growth
The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has broken silence on spending millions of shillings on foreign travel, saying it’s provided by law and that benefits of engaging international communication agencies and players surpass the cost of the trips.The media last weekend reported that large sums of money from UCC were blown on foreign trips by its officials and other senior government bureaucrats.UCC Communications Director Fred Otunnu told ChimpReports the regulatory body cannot operate in isolation if government is to adopt the trending international technology practices.“The law (Section 5 (1) (Q) of the UCC Act) mandates the Commission to represent Uganda’s communication sector at national and international fora and organisations relating to its functions,” said Otunnu.He pointed out that UCC officials are obliged to attend international conferences as they also coordinate the participation of other interested groups such as MPs, academia and civil society.Uganda, represented by UCC, is a member of several international communication organisations including Universal Postal Union, Pan Africa Postal Union, African Telecom Union, Commonwealth Telecom Oraganisation, International Telecom Satellite Organisation and East Africa Communications Organisations. Read more
Acting Director Mr Fred Otunu: UCC and BC merger leaves many jobless
The merger between Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and the Broadcasting Council (BC) has left a number of people without jobs, and retired many.An inside source, who preferred anonymity because he is not mandated to speak on behalf of UCC, said that about 50 people have been affected by the restructuring. Those affected include top directors and others of lower ranks.However, the acting director of the BC, Mr Fred Otunnu who confirmed the restructuring, said about only 20 people have been laid off in the changes.“Yes there was job evaluation and restructuring at UCC. This was due to the fact that UCC was merged with BC,” Otunnu explained. Read more
UCC: MTN subscribers demand better voice, data services
 Telecom giant MTN has had a bumpy road. After court ruled that the telecom pays Shs2.3 billion to EzeeMoney for sabotaging business, now, subscribers are demanding that the telecom improves its quality of service.An official at the Uganda Communications Commission told Daily Monitor at the sidelines of the Northern Corridor Joint Operator-Regulator technical meetings at UCC headquarter that the operator had registered technical challenges. He added that subscribers had lodged several complaints on MTN’s voice and data services. UCC will in coming days release specifics on the sector’s performance assessing among other things the operators’ quality of service (QoS), network performance (NP) and busy hour (BH).UCC’s spokesman and director of Broadcasting Fred Otunnu however says there has been general compliance with regard to quality of service in the telecom industry, however he contends there are persistent complaints such as drop call rates.Read more
UCC calls for funding signal distributor
Uganda Communications Commission executive director Godfrey Mutabazi has called on government to fund Signet, the signal distributor, if concept of free-to-air broadcasting is to be maintained.Mr Mutabazi, in Washington DC attending the International regulators’ forum, in a telephone interview, said: “Uganda must wake up to the fact that it’s a converged world. Technology is moving at a faster pace that legislation content is now universally available and regulation must depend on treaties and collaboration worldwide”.“Just like it’s done worldwide Signet, the signal distributor, must be funded that is if the concept of free to air broadcasting is to be maintained,” Mr Mutabazi said.The forum, which started, brought together global regulators to examine how the transition to digital broadcasting might be most efficiently achieved. On average, Signet requires $3 million (Shs11.1 billion) per annum contribution that must continue for some time as long as there is need for public service broadcasting. Read more
UCC: ‘Internet: We are still a virgin market’
You have been missing in action. What is happening? We are now in much stronger shape than before. Most of our challenges are what I describe as local problems. For example, local waves (network) here were interrupting each other. And when the regulator - Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) intervened, we were stopped - our operations halted. That affected our expansion plans and our revenues. But now we have invested into modern equipment to reduce network interruptions.You acquired $365m (Shs1.3trillion) in funding. How much will be invested here and in what?The money will cater for improvements in three countries including Uganda, Tanzania and Nigeria. We will have at least a third of the money invested here in Uganda. Much of it will go into the expansion of our 4G LTE mobile broadband networks. Read more
UCC urges mobile operators on App for child protection
Telecommunications regulator, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), has urged local mobile operators to offer a free new application, Guardian App, to its clients as a measure to protect children from online abuse.UCC communications manager, Fred Otunnu, made the call toAfrica Child Online Protection Summit at Speke Commonwealth Resort, Munyonyo.Otunnu’s call followed a presentation by Safaricom’s Senior Manager in charge of Sustainable and Social Policy, Karen Basiye, on the inventions undertaken by the Kenyan telecommunications company to avert the risks of internet abuses to children.“We are open to embracing best practices being undertaken elsewhere that can help us combat child online protection. Safaricom’s initiative is very good and we (UCC) would be happy if our local mobile operators adopted it to apply to our local context,” said Otunnu.Basiye said Guardian is a free and easy to use App that helps to keep children safe when using their smartphones. Read more
UCC: Decoder prices fall as more pay-TV importers join market
The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has said the price war among pay-TV companies has been caused by new players in the decoder importation business.Most pay-TV companies have cut their decoder prices in what is assumed to be a stock clearing move.In an interview, Mr Fred Otunnu, the UCC corporate communications manager, said government has opened up the decoder importation market because it is not planning to import set top boxes (decoders), but it has created mechanisms for the private sector to import the decoders and compete with other pay-TV service providers.“Government divested Uganda Broadcasting Corporation and created a new company, Signet, to distribute signals to level the ground for the pay-TV market,” he said, adding that, decoders which carry all the free-to-air channels are available in the open market at Shs150, 000. Read more
UCC issues warning to telecom companies over unwanted SMS
The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has issued a directive to telecommunication companies over unsolicited messages and warned to take action against non-compliant players.The instruction, which takes effect, was published in the last edition of the Daily Monitor. It laid down the requirements that telecom companies are obliged to abide by as a measure to address the problem of unnecessary messages.Mr Fred Otunnu, the director for broadcasting at UCC, said the decision was sparked by the persistent complaints from the public about the unsolicited messages.“Consequently the industry working group, chaired by UCC, sat down and came up with measures that all telecommunication service providers as well as information and content providers have to adopt to deal with this issue,” says Mr Otunnu. Read more
UCC set to commission digital migration project next month
Uganda Communications Commission will launch the digital migration project to mark the start of the country’s long awaited switch from analogue to digital broadcasting as the deadline looms.The Commission’s executive director, Eng Godfrey Mutabazi, who acknowledged that the project has suffered numerous challenges told Daily Monitor that all digital equipment has been procured and is ready for the switch.The project will first be rolled out in Greater Kampala (Kampala city and the surrounding districts of Entebbe, Mukono, Bombo, Mityana) while the rest of the country will be switched to digital broadcasting this year.“We are behind schedule; time is running out. Read more
Finance, UCC Fight Over Telecom Cash
Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) executives have cried foul over a proposed move by the Finance ministry to divert half of the billions that the regulator collects from telecom firms to the Consolidated Fund.In an interview with The Observer, Engineer Godfrey Mutabazi, the executive director of UCC, described the proposal by the Finance ministry as "not only wrong but constitutionally untenable.""This is a special fund that can only be utilised within the ICT sector," he said. "This money is utilised for universal access to communication. We use it to set up the infrastructure that is required for the development of rural information and communication technology development."The disagreement between Finance and UCC started when the ministry introduced the Finance bill, 2014 in Parliament. Sections of the Bill seek to amend the Uganda Communications Act to compel UCC to remit half of the levy on the annual revenue of communications firms to the consolidated fund.Read more
UCC: MTN named Uganda’s leading network operator
The independent Quality of Service (QOS) assessment that was carried out by the Uganda Communications Commission and published in the leading daily newspapers indicated MTN Uganda as the leading network operator for the period.  The report covered a number of parameters which include among others Successful Call rate, Blocked call rate and Dropped call rate.MTN Uganda’s focus over the last year was on Network Quality, the rollout of innovative Products and Services, improvement of Customer Experience and wide distribution network which have consolidated our leadership in quality service and delivery.Read more
UCC faces off with telecoms over subscribers
Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) whose mandate is to protect both consumers and service providers seems stuck in the middle of a rock and hard surface on who should be first priority.The consumers at the receiving end continuously decry intermittent network quality, dropped call services, poor network access, unwarranted billing, mobile money complaints, poor Internet services and unsolicited texts.The service providers cum investors at the giving end are decrying network infrastructure vandalism that triggers the poor services, drop in revenues, unreliable power supply and what they describe as ‘unreasonable taxes.’ Read more
EA countries, S. Sudan root for single call rate system
Subscribers to telecom networks within Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan are set to enjoy cross-border calls at the same rates under the “One-Network-Area.”The four countries have announced plans to adopt a regional telecommunications framework with effect from January 1, 2015.The communications regulator, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), in a statement issued  and signed by ICT Minister John Nasasira, said operationalising the framework is part of the resolutions made by the heads of state at the 5th Summit for the Northern Corridor Integration Projects in May.“The regional framework applies to telephone calls originating and terminating within the region,” the statement reads in part. The statement was also signed by the Rwandan ICT minister, Mr Jean Philbert Nsengimana, the Permanent Secretary-ICT ministry of South Sudan, Mr Stephen Lugga, and Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for the ICT ministry, Dr Fred Matiang’i. Read more
UCC Orders Media on Live Coverage of National Events 
Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) is to raise a flag upon all Radio and TV stations that have continued to violate the licensing conditions thatIn a statement issued by UCC on Friday, the commission has warned that every electronic media that will not adhere to the set conditions will be closely monitored and be penalized in accordance with the law. “The Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) wishes to remind all proprietors and managers of all radio and television stations in Uganda of the Licensing Conditions issued by the Commission, whereby all broadcast stations are expected to provide live coverage of major national events and addresses by the President issued to the Nation in his or her capacity as Head of State or at national celebrations,” reads part the statement signed by UCC boss, Godfrey Mutabazi. The events include pronouncement of national emergency or disaster; security threats or any event of national character that necessitates the entire public to have simultaneous access to the information. Read more
Auditor General faults UCC over delay on digital switch
As the international deadline for transition from analog to digital broadcasting draws nearer, the Auditor General (AG) has faulted communication regulator - Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) for moving very slow on the process.With a set deadline of December 31, to switch off all television viewers using analogue technology, the AG John Muwanga in the audit report of UCC said, a review of the progress revealed that the entity was unable to complete the tasks.“The migration process to digital broadcasting was planned to last about two and half years effective July 2009 and the national broadcasting digital signal coverage would be covering 50 per cent of the population by 2010, 80 per cent of the population by 2011 and close to 100 per cent by 2013 at which stage the analogue signal would be switched off.” Read more
Uganda not aware of deal on cross-border call rates - UCC
Despite reports that Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda had agreed to lower roaming charges, Uganda’s telecommunications regulator and players alike say they are not aware of the development.Speaking to the Daily Monitor in a telephone interview yesterday, the Uganda Communications Commission executive director Eng Godfrey Mutabazi said: “It’s our wish that roaming charges reduce but I am not aware if any resolution has been reached to that effect.”MTN’s general manager in charge of corporate services Anthony Katamba also said: We are unaware of that development as MTN but if true, it’s good news for the industry because customers will now be able to call across the border at affordable rates. This will increase traffic and translate into more revenue for the industry.” Read more
Shs43b at stake as procurement delays
Delays in the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) tendering process could cost the government Shs43 billion it had anticipated to get from the international call levy, Daily Monitor has learnt.Although government tasked UCC to get a firm to provide technical solutions using the quality and revenue assurance system, a source who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the subject told this newspaper that that is yet to happen, barely three months to the end of the 2013/14 financial year.The quality and revenue assurance monitors and accurately bills telecoms’ international call earnings to ensure that they (telecoms) pay the correct taxes.International call levyGovernment introduced a levy on all international incoming calls in the 2013/14 national budget where it hoped to raise about Shs43 billion in a move to raise more revenues to meet the tight resource envelope, currently at Shs13.1 trillion. Read more
Consumers petition Gov't over telecom services
Consumer advocacy groups have petitioned the Government to intervene and end the abuse of consumer rights to fair and responsible service by telecom companies.The plea was made during the inaugural communications consumer parliament at Imperial Royale Hotel. The dialogue was organised by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) as part of activities to commemorate the world consumer rights day under the theme: ‘fix our phone rights.’The event was organised to provide an opportunity for consumers with to express their concerns and enable telecom service providers and the sector regulator UCC to listen to the consumers’ views.In the petition, the consumers represented by Sam Watasa from the Uganda Consumers’ Protection Association (UCPA) demanded for compensation to consumers affected by for poor service delivery.“We demand for consumer redress by way of reasonable compensation of losses made by consumers arising from charges on unsolicited services, unsuccessful delivery of services,” said Watasa. Read more
Uganda approves five firms to deal in free-to-air decoders
Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has approved five firms to deal in the importation and sale of free-to-air decoders, opening up a market that has been dominated by pay-tv providers.The companies allowed to deal in the DVB-T2 devices include; Widestar Digital (U) Ltd, Icomsys Africa Ltd, Brivid Uganda Ltd, a source familiar with the deal at the communications regulator told the Daily Monitor.Syscorp International Ltd and Trans-African Container Transport Ltd are the other companies that have been given a a go-ahead. “We hope that free-to-air decoders will start arriving in the country either this month or early next month,” the source said, adding that the price for the device is yet to be determined as the country is a free market economy. Read more
UCC: Internet efficiency up despite vandalism of cables
Uganda is now 10th biggest Internet user in Africa with over four million subscribers, the head of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), Eng. Godfrey Mutabaazi, has said.Mutabaazi attributed the growth to increased circulation of smart phones on the market, distribution of computers to schools and competition in the telecommunication sector. According to UCC, 13% of Ugandans use the Internet. Almost 60% of Web traffic in Uganda is from mobile devices such as smart phones and laptops. Read more
UCC To Reward Technology Innovations
The Uganda Communications Commission has launched the 4th edition of ACIA 2014, to reward and promote technology innovations aimed at finding solutions to Uganda’s local problems. UCC Executive Director, Godfrey Mutabazi, says the government body has a statuary mandate to promote research and development in the sector. “In fulfilment of this mandate, UCC has adopted a number of strategies including provision of funding support, raising awareness about research and innovation, providing platforms to facilitate linkages between private and public innovation actors,” said Mutabazi . ACIA was established to provide a platform to recognize outstanding innovations from local companies and individuals in the development and adoption of ICTs in Uganda.Read more

Stiffer competition expected in telecom
The telecom industry may see a resurgence of stiffer competition this 2014.This follows improving demographics and growth figures with the economy poised to grow at about 6.2% in 2014, inflation slowing to about 6.7% compared to the double figures of 2011 and 2012.All the telecom firms may bounce back strongly as subscribers see slight improvement in disposable incomes.Also a new UTL management team according to available information is in charge following several changes at the firm. The team according to sources were part of the marketing team at Warid Telecom before they were eventually acquired by Asian giant Airtel.It therefore remains to be seen whether UTL will launch onto the price war turf reigniting the pre-2012 price wars that saw call rates drop to as low as sh3 per second. But already, several creative market promotions are ongoing currently.Fred Otunnu, Uganda Communications Commission publicist says the industry currently has 16.8 million mobile subscribers but increased competition is eminent. Read more

UCC: New telecom may reignite price wars
Well, we may not know its name, but its business is known. It is a new telecom company, expected to officially announce arrival on the Ugandan market next month. The entry is likely to set the stage for a price war on tariffs, according to an expert at Makerere University.The company has started with extensive advertisements, promising big prizes to whoever will give them a name.“Give us a name,” it says.On its website, hundreds of Ugandans have suggested a range, including Global telecom. But the firm will enter a local market that feels clogged – with 17 million subscribers, according to Uganda Communications Commission. UCC has a list of close to 40 licensed companies in the sector, but only a handful – less than ten companies – can be seen to be actively engaged in the market. Read more