Uganda adopts new regulatory framework for licensing telecom companies

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has unveiled a new framework for licensing telecommunications companies. It will officially enter into force in June 2020.

According to Godfrey Mutabazi, the executive director of the public body, this new version, which comes after the last of 2016, aims at easy access to the market and increased competition, the intensification of the deployment of the top flow, the improvement of local shareholding, and the effective use of resources. 

Companies wishing to invest in the Ugandan telecom market will now have to choose between three types of licenses. The telecom operator license, valid for 15 years, which gives the right to establish and provide telecom infrastructure and services; the public service provider license, valid for 5 years, which will provide voice and data services or resale capacity services; and the Public Infrastructure Provider license (15 years) to licensed telecom operators, utility providers and private networks. 

According to the telecoms regulator, each company will have the obligation to open 20% of its capital to local investors within two years of obtaining its license which is divided into two categories: national or regional. 

The UCC also plans to issue licenses for companies wishing to invest in other segments of the telecom market. This is the case for the distribution and sale of equipment, including network terminals and customer terminals; the import, sale, installation and maintenance of telecommunication equipment; the manufacture and assembly of telecommunications equipment; the elimination of communication materials.

Finally, the telecom regulator has provided authorizations to provide digital financial services; digital audiovisual content aggregation services.

Current licensees have 60 days from October 30, 2019 to apply for a license under the new framework.

Source: Agence Ecofin