Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) was established by the Uganda Communications Act, 1997(cap106) laws of Uganda as the regulator of the communications industry in Uganda.
Vision
A Uganda in which development is facilitated through universal access to communications services largely delivered through the private sector.
Mission
Effectively regulate the communications sectors in order to facilitate growth of communications for sustainable development.

 

Functions of UCC
Key Objectives of UCC
Powers of the Commission
Application for license
Types of licenses
Process for obtaining a license
Required Technical Standards for the operator
Customer complaints desk

 

Functions of UCC
The Uganda Communications Act spells out in detail the functions of the commission.
Some the functions are summarized as follows:

 

  • Implement the objectives of the act
  • Monitor, inspect, license and regulate communication services.
  • Allocate and license the use of radio frequency spectrum.
  • Make recommendations to the minister responsible for communication in relation to the issuance of major licenses under the Act.
  • Establish a tariff system to protect consumers from excessive tariff increase.
  • Set national communications standards and ensure compliance with national and international standards and obligation.
  • Receive and investigate complaints relating to communications services and to take necessary action (this covers complaints from both operators and consumers/public).
  • Improve communication services and ensure equitable distribution of these services throughout the country.
  • Promote competition within the communication sector.
  • Establish and administer a fund for rural communications development.
  • Advise government on all matters relating to the communication sector.
  • Regulate interconnection and access systems between operators and users of telecommunication services.

Key Objectives of UCC

  • To perform its core functions, the commission has set the following corporate objectives:
  • Promote consumer awareness and protect the interests and rights of the consumer in the communications sector through an effective regulatory and licensing regime.
  • Plan and efficiently manage the electromagnetic spectrum to the maximum benefit of the public.
  • Encourage and oversee competition in the communication sector in order to promote rapid network expansion, standardization as well as provision of competitively priced quality services for the benefit of all stakeholders.
  • Promote and ensure national wide penetration and equitable distribution of communication services, with specific emphasis on universal access.
  • Develop and manage a training institute that meets the training needs of communications sector.
  • Ensure cost effective development and management of commission assets having due regard to relevant environmental concerns.
  • Develop and maintain UCC as a lean, highly motivated technology conscious organization providing a conducive environment for professional and institutional growth and environment.
  • Ensure effective and timely monitoring and evaluation of the strategic and business plans to support efficient decision making at commission and management levels. Top

Powers of the Commission

  • The following are some of the powers, which may be exercised by the course of execution of its functions:
  • Arbitrate disputes arising between operators and consumers and to enforce its decision.
  • Institute a levy on the gross annual revenues from services licensed under the Act from services operators as provided under the third schedule to the third schedule to the Act; or
  • Impose a fine on a person who unlawfully possesses installs, connects or apparatus, or unlawfully provides or performs any communication services.
  • Charge for services provided by it.
  • To appoint any person/inspectors to inquire any matter pending before the commission and or verify compliance with the provision of the Act and the license.
  • Confiscate any apparatus that is unlawfully possessed, installed, connected, or operated. Top

Application for license
Any person may apply to the commission to the following:

  1. Establish a communication station.
  2. Provide communications services.
  3. Construct, maintain and operate telecommunications apparatus

Types of licenses
UCC is mandated to issue licenses in respect of the following categories of services:

  1. Courier services.
  2. Public Infrastructure Provider (PIP).
  3. Radio Communication Services.
  4. Public Service Provider (PSP).
  5. Equipment vending services and installation.
  6. General Authorization. Top

Process for obtaining a license
All communications services providers and operators are required to apply to Uganda Communications Commission for the relevant licenses by obtaining an application form/guide lines and complying with the requirements contained in it.
After the form is filled it should be returned with supporting documentation to UCC.
Depending on the type and or class of license, the licensing procedure from submission of the completed application forms would take a minimum of four weeks and a maximum of six weeks and would consist of the following:

  1. Preliminary screening of appliance.
  2. Publishing of the applicant?s application in the newspaper for a period of two weeks inviting members of the public to give comments or objections to the application. All publications are done during the last 2 weeks of every month.
  3. If the commission does not find any reasons not to grant a license, the applicant will be given a license, which must be signed and returned to the Commission within 90 days. An invoice will be issued within a week after payment.
  4. If an objection was raised, the commission will investigate for not more than 2 weeks.
  5. If an applicant is dissatisfied with the decision, the Commission may cause a public hearing to consider the allegations raised about the applicant.
  6. If the public hearing resolves the matter, the commission will act accordingly.
  7. If the applicant is not satisfied with the results of the public hearing he may appeal to the tribunal.
  8. The Commission shall then act accordingly to the tribunal?s ruling. Top

Required Technical Standards for the operator
UCC is mandated to type approve all communication equipment intended for use in the country. The purpose of the type approval of the equipment is to ensure compliance to international standards as well as local conditions and prevent distortion and degradation of the national network that would occur if such non-compliant/sub standard equipment is connected to the national network and also prevent dumping of sub-standard and inferior equipment in the country.

Customer complaints desk
One of the core functions of the commission is to provide consumer awareness and protect the interests and rights of the consumer in the communication sector through an effective regulatory and licensing regime.

The function is executed by UCC through the following:

  1. Establishment and control of tariff system.
  2. Setting of national standards.
  3. Monitoring of quality of services.
  4. Type approval of equipments used in delivery of services.
  5. Receiving and following up customer complaints with the service providers.

UCC has set up a customer complaints desk whose main function is to receive and follow up customer complaints with the relevant service providers. Top

For complaints please contact
Uganda Communications Commission