KAMPALA– Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has emerged a plan dubbed National Roaming Services plan that will see telephone users have fulltime telecommunications network coverage by 2019.
According to Godfrey Mutabaazi, the UCC Executive director, telephone users will have coverage even in areas where their service providers have no network.
“We shall have national roaming, such that users have network, even in the absence of coverage,” said Mutabaazi, adding that national roaming will enable people to have 24-hour access to telephone networks.
“Even if you have Simcard A and move to an area where it has no network, the Simcard will pick network from another telecom,” he added.
Roaming according to UCC is the ability for a cellular customer to automatically make and receive voice calls, send and receive data, or access other services, including home data services, when travelling outside the geographical coverage area of the home network, by means of using a visited network.
Asked if the new plan would imply a higher charge for customers, Mr Mutabazi said that although there could be a cost implication, national roaming is necessary since it will allow 24-hour telephone access.
The new licensing regime, according to Mutabazi, will require all telecoms to have coverage in all parishes in the country with a base minimum of 3G access.
“In the next 6 to 12 months, all telecoms will have upgraded to 4G access. We shall have national roaming and deploy more base stations in each parish. With the new licensing regime, each parish should at least have a minimum 3G access,” he said.
UCC early this year rolled out efforts of tremendous changes in technology and communication saying no one should be excluded.
The body also said that broadband width in Uganda is at 40 percent for urban areas and 15 percent for rural area adding that the country targets 100 percent urban connectivity and 50 percent rural internet connectivity by 2020.
However, Ms Sumin Namaganda, the Airtel communications manager, said they were yet to be furnished with details of the new requirements. We could not get comments from other telecoms by press time.