New laws for telecom companies in Uganda

Telecom operators have been warned by Ugandan ICT state minister Nyombi Thembo that the renewal of operating licenses depends on the quality of the service provided, while government officials also announced that survey frequency may be weekly.

Telecom operators have been warned by Ugandan ICT state minister Nyombi Thembo to provide a quality service (image: stock.xchng)

Recent surveys carried out by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) revealed that none of Uganda’s seven mobile telephone service providers met the standard maximum two percent of dropped and blocked calls.

The survey established that Airtel dropped 15.2% of its calls, uganda telecom 11.4%, MTN 11.1%, Warid 8.75% and Orange 3.75%.

“Now that we have about 20 million mobile phone subscribers, what we need is quality,” said Thembo.

“Before we renew a license we have to ensure that the service is excellent,” Thembo, said at the opening of the Orange Telecom Expo at the UMA Exhibition Hall in Kampala.

Orange showcased latest technology to customers at a three-day expo that ran from November 18 to 20.

This year’s expo looked at how it can empower and simplify the way SMEs do business, provide Internet solutions and connect with the youth, with a number of   lifestyle activities like gaming, football and music.

“As the world changes, technology evolves,” Orange’s Chief Startegy Officer said in a statement.

“There are plenty of new things to tell and show every year. This is why Orange Expo 2011 is there,” he continued.

Orange has partnered with Acer, Huawei, ZTE, Samsung, Alcatel and Google, which also showcased their latest technology and services.

he minister indicated that the UCC had the potential to carry out weekly and monthly quality surveys on the operators.

Thembo also noted that present laws on vandalism of communication equipment were weak and that a more punitive law is needed to curb thefts of communication tower angle bars and oil from upcountry stations.

Philippe Luxcey, head of Orange Uganda, said the current frequent power blackouts around the country were affecting their service provision.

“Power is critical to our operations and the current countrywide power load shedding is affecting us. We also need stronger laws to reduce the theft of the copper angle bars and oil at our stations,” he noted.

Luiz Sanchez