MTN Uganda Battles for its License Renewal

Almost twenty years have passed since MTN Uganda began operating under its National Telecommunications Operator license (NTO), which is set to expire on October 20th of 2018. In accordance with the Uganda Communications Act concerning NTO renewals, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) conducted a public hearing on March 26 regarding the mobile network operator's request for a ten year license renewal, with the outcome to be decided within the next four months.

Prior to the hearing, the UCC released its Evaluation Report on MTN Uganda Ltd - License performance from 1998 to 2018.  While finding substantial compliance in many respects, the UCC's findings of non-compliance included failure to make fee payments, failure to negotiate in good faith with interconnection seekers, concerns regarding customer complaints regarding billing and claims of anti-competitive behavior concerning third party access seekers of USSD and SMS.

Potentially complicating MTN's license renewal is news that MTN, the Bank of Uganda and the UCC have been sued by a Member of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda alleging the occurrence of phone hacks and fraudulent activity, along with an application for an injunction to prevent the renewal MTN's license.

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