UCC to Suspend Africell’s Licenses for Selling Simcards on Streets


Africell Uganda Limited head officers along Clement Hill Road in Kampala
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Telecom company, Africell Uganda Limited could have two of its key licenses suspended within two months for continued sale of simcards on the streets using hawkers, street vendors and mobile agents, UCC has warned.

Communications regulator, UCC has threatened to suspend Africell Uganda’s Public Infrastructure Provider (PIP) and Public Service Provider (PSP) licenses over what it has called breach of the licencing agreements and the law.

“The Commission has received information that in total disregard of the Commission’s directive, Africell Uganda Limited is still selling simcards on the streets using hawkers, street vendors and mobile agents,” the UCC Executive Director, Eng Godfrey Mutabazi has said in a notice to Africell’s Chief Executive Officer.

This action, Mutabazi said “amounts to a serious and repeated breach of Africell Uganda Limited’s license agreement and the law”.

“In light of the above stated serious and repeated breach and in accordance with Section 41 (3) of the Uganda Communications Act 2014, the Commission shall within 60 days from the date hereof suspend Africell Uganda Limited’s Public Infrastructure Provider (PIP) and Public Service Provider (PSP) licenses, unless Africell Uganda Limited can show cause why the suspension should not be effected,” the notice further reads.

The Public Service Provider (PSP) licence is granted to persons interested in providing voice telephony service using any technology – cellular, satellite, Internet Protocol, traditional voice Network (using time division multiplexing).

The Public Infrastructure Provider (PIP) licence is the authorization for a telecom company to install network facilities associated with transmission, reception and switching of telecommunications (electronic) signals.

UCC has said that should it not receive sufficient representation to this notice within the 60-day period, “the Commission shall proceed to suspend Africell Uganda Limited’s PIP and PSP licenses in accordance with Section 41 (4) of the Uganda Communications Act 2013 without any further notice”.

On March 7 and May 8 this head, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) ordered all telecom service providers in Uganda to cease the sale of simcards through hawkers, street vendors, and street agents.

This directive came in the wake of heighted criminal activity including kidnaps for ransom, much of which was being perpetrated using mobile telephones.

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