The Uganda Communications Commission (the Commission) announces that MTN Uganda, having fulfilled the requirements for the extension of the Second National Operator License Agreement, has been granted an extension of 12 years with effect from July 1, 2020.
Under section 5, 22 and 39 of the Uganda Communications Act 2013, the Commission is mandated to monitor, license, inspect, supervise, control and regulate communications services.
MTN Uganda was granted a Second National Operator License for the provision of telecommunications services effective 20th October 1998 for a period of 20 years.
It should be noted that the Commission is empowered, under section 38 and 43 of the Uganda Communications Act 2013, to grant an extension to the Second National Operator licensee upon terms and conditions that reflect the prevailing circumstances of the communications sector in Uganda.
“Having conducted a performance assessment of MTN Uganda operations over the last 20 years, the Commission came to the conclusion that MTN Uganda has substantially complied with its financial and legal obligations, as well as most of the technical obligations.” Part of the UCC statement reads.
Accordingly, the Government, through the Commission, and MTN Uganda, have been engaged in discussions over a license extension, which culminated in this breakthrough.
Summary of terms and conditions
- The licensee shall ensure that its network extends to, and services are available in at least 90% of the geographical boundary of Uganda within five (5) years from the effective date of the license.
- The licensee shall not deny access for licensed services to any subscriber except for non-payment of fees or for any other just cause.
- The Licensee shall ensure that its services meet the Licensor’s Quality of Service standards and other standards as the Licensor shall determine from time to time.
- The Licensee shall comply with all the Laws, Regulations, Guidelines and Standards Issued by the Government of Uganda on health, safety and environment protection.
- The Licensee shall provide services adaptable to persons with disabilities across its network.
- The Licensee shall ensure that its equipment, facilities or systems do not damage, interfere or in any way harm the installations, facilities or operations of other Licensees.
- The Licensee shall ensure and maintain the confidentiality of all communications that it may obtain in the course of providing a service to a customer or interconnecting to a public network or in the execution of its business.
- The Licensee shall interconnect its system(s) with national, public or private telecommunication systems or other licensed operators to deliver locally originated traffic through interconnection agreements, which shall be approved by the Licensor.
- The Licensee shall provide national roaming services to requesting telecommunications service providers on terms and services as shall be agreed upon by the parties.
- The Licensee shall share its infrastructure with other requesting licensees in designated areas as provided by the Act, Regulations, Government policies, guidelines and directives.
- The Licensee shall comply with the sector policy, regulations and guidelines requiring the listing of a portion of its shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange.
- The Licensee shall comply with the Act, the Regulations made under the Act, standards, directives, guidelines issued by the Licensor in the public interest, including but not limited to, national development, consumer protection, environment protection, disaster relief services, and security of persons and infrastructure.
- Under the terms of the license, the Licensee is authorised, non-exclusively, to establish, install, operate, maintain lease, and sale telecommunications systems and to provide telecommunication services and make available network infrastructure systems to other licensed operators and authorised persons in Uganda.
This license extension is guided by the new licensing framework, which is in line with the new broadband policy of 2018 that aims to boost investment in the communications sector so as to improve the quality of telecommunications services in Uganda.