Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) has granted a 30 days provisional licence to MTN Uganda. MTN’s 20 year licence expired on 20th October, 2018.
Eng Godfrey Mutabazi, the Executive Director of the Uganda Communications (UCC) told this publication on Tuesday that MTN was not ready for licence renewal by the time its licence expired on Saturday.
“When they are ready, it will be issued. We are still working out some modalities. We have given them a 30 days provisional licence,” he said.
Mutabazi said MTN will get a 10 year licence before the expiry of 30 days provisional licence .
MTN Uganda was granted a licence on 15th April, 1998 but it took effect on 20th October 1998. The giant telecommunication company commands the market in Uganda with over 12 million subscribers’ base.
MTN over the weekend held an expo at Kololo Airstrip to celebrate 20 years of success in Uganda.
The process for licence of renewal started a year ago when Mutabazi revealed that UCC had received application from MTN Uganda.
“Take notice that the Uganda Communications Commission has received an application for renewal of a National Telecommunication Licence by MTN Uganda Limited for the provision of telecommunication services within the Republic of Uganda. MTN Uganda Limited seeks to have its license renewed for ten (10) years commencing on October 21, 2018,” Mutabazi said in a statement dated October 26, 2017.
Cabinet last month gave UCC ago a head to renew MTN’s licence. However, the new licence is supposed to come with stringent terms as laid out in the new national broadband policy.
The new licencing conditionalities for instance include listing on Uganda Securities Exchange (USE), covering entire geographical coverage of Uganda, national roaming, among others.
Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Minister, Frank Tumwebaze said these stringent conditions will apply to other telecom companies as well when they apply for licence renewal.
“Cabinet tasked the minister for ICT and Uganda Communication Commission to work with Attorney General to ensure that the operator licence for MTN has clear terms and conditions that aim at ensuring quality of service,” Tumwebaze told journalists last month when unveiling a new broadband policy.
MTN Uganda CEO Wim Vanhelleputte and MTN Corporate Affairs Manager Val Oketcho did not pick repeated calls for a comment.