Ugandan watchdog bares its teeth

24 May 2012

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) will follow up on its threats to impose penalties on wireless providers for failing to meet quality of service (QoS) standards, reports IT News Africa. The watchdog announced that it would inform operators within the next two weeks if they were to be issued fines. Godfrey Mutabazi, UCC executive director said: ‘We started doing benchmarking and we are compiling the results and within the next two to three weeks, we shall release the results and once we approve the sanctions, then the fines will be imposed.’

As previously noted by CommsUpdate, the UCC responded in February to a ‘public outcry’ over the poor quality of service delivered by the nation’s cellcos: Mutabazi was quoted as saying that the UCC was ‘overwhelmed by the number of complaints from the public.’ The regulator’s QoS survey, conducted from May to September last year, demonstrated that none of the country’s half-dozen operators met minimum standards for service quality. The report showed that, despite improvement from the regulator’s previous survey, several cellcos still blocked more than 10% of calls, far in excess of the 2% maximum stipulated by the UCC. Dropped calls were less problematic, with no operator prematurely disconnecting more than 5% of calls: nevertheless, all cellcos exceeded the 2% maximum in this field.

The UCC’s announcement followed on the heels of a similar move by its Nigerian counterpart, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) which issued fines totalling NGN1.17 billion (USD7.3 million) to cellcos for failing to meet QoS targets.