FACILITATING THE REALIZATION OF MAXIMUM SOCIO-ECONOMIC BENEFIT FROM THE RADIO FREQUENCY SPECTRUM IN UGANDA

Radio frequency spectrum is a critical necessity to every wireless/radio communication device or system, ranging from simple systems like remote control keys to aviation (aircraft-to-ground) and space communication systems.  However, radio frequency spectrum is a limited resource. It is, therefore, important that it is used optimally and that users do not interfere with each other.

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), the regulator of the Communications sector in Uganda, is tasked under the Uganda Communications Act of 2013 with the responsibility of allocating, licensing, standardizing and managing the use of the radio frequency spectrum resources in a manner that ensures the widest variety of programming and optimal utilization of spectrum resources.

Spectrum management comprises four (4) main functions: planning, authorization, monitoring and intelligence, and enforcement. Since its inception, UCC has developed various regulatory tools in line with Uganda’s commitments under the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and with international best practice as summarized in the table below to facilitate spectrum management in Uganda.

General– The Uganda Communications Commission Radio Spectrum Management Guidelines, 2017 (replaced Radio Spectrum Policy Guidelines for Uganda, 2009)
– Guidelines on establishment and operation of an FM station, 2019  
Planning– The Uganda Communications Commission Radio Spectrum Planning Framework, 2019
– National Table of Frequency Allocations, 2017 (being updated to include the outputs of the World Radio Conference of 2019)
– 5.8 GHz band ISM guidelines (being reviewed to accommodate changes in the sector/industry)
– 2.4 GHz band ISM guidelines (being reviewed to accommodate changes in the sector/industry)
– Guidelines for use of short range devices, 2017
– Uganda Communications Commission Standard for Personal Mobile Radio in the Band 446.0-446.2 MHz (PMR446), 2018
– Uganda Communications Commission Standard for Programme Making and Special Events (PMSE) Equipment, 2019
– Technical Requirements for the use of the 863-870MHz (868MHz) Band for Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) in Uganda, 2019
– Uganda Communications Commission Standard for TV White Spaces Access and Use in Uganda, 2019
AuthorizationFramework for spectrum assignment to telecommunications services in Uganda, 2019
Monitoring and intelligence– Guidelines on Radio Spectru-m Hoarding, 2010
– Radio Station Inspection Framework, 2010
– Interference Handling Guidelines, 2018

For more information regarding the above tools and spectrum management, please refer to the Commission website at https://www.ucc.co.ug/radio-spectrum-management-activities-and-publications/.

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