The Ugandan Communications Commission (UCC) is increasing the licence fee for the country’s largest cellco by subscribers, MTN Uganda. The firm, majority owned by MTN Group of South Africa, must pay USD118 million to renew its operating concession for a further ten years, up from the original price of USD100 million. The increase is due to a revision of MTN’s projected annual gross revenue, the Monitor reports. The price for a 15-year licence renewal has been set at USD150 million.
MTN Uganda’s original 20-year licence was awarded in 1998 and expired in October last year. Since then the firm has been operating under temporary permits as its negotiations with the regulator continue. The Kampala government is keen to see MTN increase its level of local ownership and the firm has said it is looking at offloading a 20% stake to local investors by the end of this year, while a transfer of shares to the country’s state pension company, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), has also been mooted.