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Africell in trouble with UCC over sale of SIM cards

Africell under fire over sale of sim cards (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA: The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has threatened to suspend telecom company Africell’s license over failure to follow guidelines on the sale of SIM cards.

In a letter dated May 17, Mr Godfrey Mutabazi, the UCC executive director, says Africell did not comply with the guidelines to stop the sale of SIM cards in ungazetted places.

UCC’s Executive Director Godfrey Mutabazi (UCC Photo)

“This action amounts to a serious and repeated breach of Africell’s license agreement. In light of this, the Commission shall within 60 days from the date hereof suspend your license, unless you show cause why the suspension should not be effected,” Mr Mutabazi’s letter reads in part.

According to UCC, Africell has been selling SIM cards on the streets, using hawkers, street vendors and mobile agents which is unlawful.

“Please be advised should the Commission not receive sufficient representation within the aforementioned, the Commission shall proceed to suspend [your] license,” Mr Mutabazi’s letter added.

When contacted, Mr Edgar Karamagi, the Africell public relations officer, denied breaching any UCC directive.

Mr Edgar Karamagi, the Africell public relations officer (COURTESY PHOTO)

“The incident referred to by UCC pertains to remote areas where registration was done according to the regulations of UCC which are on-the-spot biometric verification and live validation by National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA guidelines),” he said.

“Africell is one of the first operators that begun advocating for bio metric finger print registration having seen this need as far back as mid-2017. Our position on registration has not changed and we will prove the same to UCC within the 60 days we were asked to respond,” he added.

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