UCC backtracks on regulations

16 Jun 2011

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has withdrawn its previous declaration regarding the regulation of tariffs. The declaration, issued last week, set out new guidelines for promotional tariffs and established a floor price for on-net calls at UGX92 (USD0.03) per minute. In a press conference on Tuesday the watchdog’s director for competition and corporate affairs, David Ogong, said that the UCC was still consulting industry players and stakeholders, and had not yet issued a directive. However, a public notice from the commission on Friday in local newspaper New Vision stated that it had concluded its consultation, although it was unclear whether or not the regulations were to be effective immediately. Seeking to clarify the situation, the consumer affairs manager for the UCC said that an error had been made in the initial report, and confirmed that the guidelines were not yet in place.

Competition is fierce in Uganda; according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, three companies are jockeying for position behind the leader MTN Uganda. At the end of March 2011, MTN had a market share of 48%, whilst Airtel, Warid and Uganda Telecom battled for second place with 19%, 14% and 13% respectively.