Uganda: Telecoms regulator lifts ban on new SIM cards, taken on 9 March 2018

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) lifted the ban on the sale of new SIM cards, taken on March 9, 2018, in line with its mission to protect the domestic telecoms market and consumers from wrongdoing committed by mobile.

The decision signed on May 8, 2018, a copy of which was sent to all telecom operators, only concerns companies that have deployed online electronic readers of biometric cards allowing instant verification of the identity of any mobile network user and of any new SIM card acquirer.

The telecoms regulator has also introduced new conditions for new SIM card sales, SIM upgrades, SIM exchanges and SIM replacements.

From now on, telecom operators will, among other things, require the customer to physically present their original national identity card. For foreigners, they are required to present their valid passport. Telecom operators are also required to ensure that SIM cards sold to foreigners are only active during the validity period of their visa or residence permit.

The UCC pointed out that “operators will be held individually responsible for any SIM card registered, upgraded or replaced contrary to the new guidelines” .

Clearly, any contravention of the new regulations will be punished.

Source: Agence Ecofin