NCA BOARD ON STUDY TOUR

The Uganda Communications Commission is providing proof of concept in several regulatory functions

The National Communications Authority (NCA) Board of South Sudan is on a study tour in Uganda. The Executive Director, Godfrey Mutabazi welcomed the delegation from South Sudan at UCC House Bugolobi.

The NCA Board is desirous of understudying the regulatory processes and frameworks adopted and implemented by the Uganda Communications Commission. Key on the agenda is the management of the Engineering and Communications infrastructure, Industry relations in competition and economic regulation, board processes and procedures, the management of the Rural Communications Development Fund (RCDF), internal management process that underpin the UCC organisational strategy and a tour of specialised functions and Monitoring systems.

The Uganda Communications Commission has provided leadership in several regulatory functions when regulating the communications sector in Uganda. The success of the Rural Communications Development Fund in Uganda is unprecedented albeit a meager resource envelop.

Mr Godfrey Mutabazi meeting with the National Communications Authority’s Board during a Bench marking visit at UCC House in Bugolobi

Over 60% of Ugandans have access to telephone services, primarily, driven by the mobile phone. Over 20Million Ugandans, are using mobile money for various functions including the transfer of funds, purchase of goods and payment for various services. This has been achieved against a background that some regions of the country have remained hard to reach due to infrastructure challenges.

Coverage of radio broadcasting services stands at over 90%, at sub-county level as demonstrated by FM stations in nearly every district. Over 95% of households in Uganda have radios, which remains the most commonly used and accessed form of communication.

UCC is committed to ensuring that the regulatory frameworks in place provide a conducive environment that will attract sustainable development in the sector while at the same time protecting the interests of consumers of communication services.

Uganda has thus provided proof of concept in several regulatory endeavors. For instance, the Commission has sought to promote healthy competition in the industry by ensuring that operators comply with the requirements of the regulatory frameworks in place. The benefits of healthy competition have included among others; diversity of communications products and services; reduction in the cost of communications services as well as improved quality of service as a result of continuous product development and adoption of new technologies.

The RCDF continues to ensure universal access and usage of Communications services, by intervening in areas that are underserved or unserved by commercial operators. Through the RCDF Program, the Commission has already established infrastructure in the education sector enabling access to ICTs for teaching. It is the success of such projects that we have had to keep our door open for friendly nations to benchmark and build capacity.

The cost of data is still very high in Uganda and not yet affordable to the average consumer, but unknown to many commentators is that in spite the country having very high infrastructure cost, a smaller market size and challenging geographical location that imposes an additional cost of delivery of internet service in comparison to some regional neighbours. Uganda has over the years enjoyed consistent improvements in internet affordability with average monthly bundle prices dropping by more than 70% in the period between 2012 and 2018. Indeed, the telecommunication sector in Uganda is one of the few sectors with consistent price drops over the last ten years despite increases in the cost of factor inputs like fuel and Forex depreciation.

Therefore, UCC’s ambition is to build on the gains made over the last 20 year by providing or the development of a robust communications sector in Uganda and continue to fly the Uganda flag high as a World Class Regulator.

Uganda Communications Commission; UCC House; Plot 42-44 Spring Road, Bugolobi; P. O. Box 7376, Kampala; Phone: +256-41-4339000, +256-31-2339000; Toll-Free: 0800 222 777; Email: ucc@ucc.co.ug, Website: http://www.ucc.co.ug

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