Airtel Uganda being told to upgrade to NTO licence

14 Sep 2020

Another licensing row has broken out in Uganda, this time centred on number two cellco Airtel. Following a long-running series of negotiations concerning market leader MTN Uganda, which was settled in March this year when MTN agreed to pay USD100 million for a twelve-year licence extension, a similar situation has now developed at Airtel, Eagle Online reports.

Airtel is currently operating via Public Service Provider (PSP) and Public Infrastructure Provider (PIP) concessions issued for USD100,000 in November 2018, but under the Uganda Communications Commission’s (UCC’s) revised licensing structure, Airtel is covered by the National Telecom Operator (NTO) category, which applies to operators with more than 65% nationwide network coverage. Rival firms have complained that Airtel has benefitted from reduced licence fees for its PSP and PIP permits, when it should be paying the much higher NTO fee.