Uganda news update – UCC ‘eats own directive’ in shame


Following a public outcry over ‘theft’ following an ill conceived and clearly partisan ‘decision’ by the UCC, to impose minimum tariffs of at least 2 Uganda Shillings per second, seen to be largely in favour of still market leader MTN, the commission was forced to quickly withdraw their notice to Uganda’s mobile phone operators, leaving pricing to market mechanisms.

The ‘egg all over the face’ withdrawal has however prompted more demands from the public that the UCC lowers the mandated maximum interconnection charges, which are also seen as favouring the market leaders, a claim the UCC has in the past denied but with their latest failed imposition of tariffs this denial now sounds hollow and industry observers think it is only a matter of time now before these crucial cost components in calls from one network to another will be reduced further.

Calls at 1 Uganda Shilling per second are now offered by a number of networks when calling numbers on the same network, while generally calls to other networks have come down to 2 Uganda Shillings a second, prompting a shift of market allegiance away from leaders MTN which have stubbornly refused to match their competitors. Yet, the next big target for tariff reductions is seen to be taking place in the mobile internet connection fees, presently still kept beyond the reach of many Ugandans and in urgent need of reduction so that internet usage can be spread further in particular educational institutions and for greater domestic use.

Watch this space as the battle for subscribers continues to benefit us here in Uganda.