Celtel in hunt for Ugandan national operator licence

7 Jan 2005

Pan-African mobile operator Celtel is looking to become the third national operator in Uganda, after the duopoly of MTN Uganda and Uganda Telecom (UTL) expires in July 2005. According to allAfrica.com, the country’s regulator, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has agreed to license one more national service provider, which is expected to receive its concession between six and twelve months after the duopoly ends. To date Celtel has only operated as a mobile services provider, but the third national licence in Uganda would require it to meet with other conditions, such as agreeing to roll out a nationwide fibre-optic network. The UCC plans to replace MTN and UTL’s duopoly with a three-tier system over the next five years. The three new national operators will be allowed to lease infrastructure to competitors; the Commission says it will not limit the number of licences it plans to issue to market newcomers.