(Ecofin Agency) - Ugandan telecom operators have until 30 January 2020 to formally notify the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) of the type of licenses they wish to acquire under the new regime's entry into force.
New categories include the license of National Telecom Operator (NTO), valid for 15 years, which gives the right to establish and provide telecom infrastructure and services; the National Public Service Provider (NPSP), valid for 5 years, which will allow the provision of voice and data services or capacity resale services; and the 15-year National Public Infrastructure Provider (NPIP)’s license given to licensed telecom operators, public service providers, and private networks.
According to UCC, companies are required to float 20% on the Uganda Stock Exchange within two years from the license issuance date. The new licensing regime also includes authorizations for companies wishing to invest in other segments of the telecom market such as the distribution and sale of equipment, including network and customer terminals; import, sale, installation, and maintenance of telecom equipment; manufacture and assembly of telecom equipment; and the disposal of communications equipment. The provision is also made for authorizations for the provision of digital financial services, and digital audiovisual content aggregation services.
Ibrahim Bbosa, UCC's Director of Public and Corporate Affairs, explains that the new licensing regime was created after a review of broadband policy, to ease access to market and boost competition, improve deployment of broadband, local ownership, and effective use of resources.