Date of promulgation:
2005 No. 20.
THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS (LICENSING) REGULATIONS, 2005.
ARRANGEMENT OF REGULATIONS
Schedule—Details to be provided in an application
2005 No. 20. The Telecommunications (Licensing) Regulations, 2005.
(Under section 94 of the Uganda Communications Act, Cap 106)
In exercise of the powers conferred upon the Uganda Communications Commission by section 94 of the Uganda Communications Act, these Regulations are made this 7th day of January, 2005.
These Regulations may be cited as the Telecommunications (Licensing) Regulations, 2005.
- Application of Regulations.
These regulations apply to—
- the provision of telecommunications services in Uganda;
- licensing and regulation of telecommunications operators or providers;
- the use and operation of telecommunications networks, systems,
equipment or apparatus and the provision of telecommunications services.
- In applying and implementing these Regulations, the Commission shall—
- have exclusive control over all telecommunications devices, equipment
and parts or components capable in their operation or use, of providing telecommunications services;
- authorise the manufacture, importation, shipment, sale, lease, offer for
sale or lease, distribution, possession, installation, way operation or use of any telecommunication device or equipment;
- suspend or revoke a licence of any operator upon proof, sufficient to
satisfy the Commission that the licensee has—
- violated or caused, aided, or abetted the violation of the Act, any
regulations made under the Act or a term of the operator’s licence;
- failed to carry out a lawful order of the Commission;
- wilfully damaged or permitted a telecommunications system or an
installation to be damaged; or
- obtained or attempted to obtain, or assisted another person to obtain or attempt to obtain an operator’s licence by fraudulent means;
(d) inspect all telecommunications systems, networks and equipment required to be licensed, and to ascertain whether in construction, installation, and operation they conform to the requirements of these Regulations or the Act.
- Objectives of Regulations
(1) The objectives of these Regulations are—
- to promote fair competition, transparency in licensing procedures,
technical standards and compliance with essential requirements by setting out rights and obligations of licensees and providers of telecommunications networks, infrastructure facilities or services;
- to create a harmonised and nation-wide telecommunications network;
- to enhance the interoperability of telecommunic-ations infrastructure,
facilities, networks and services countrywide;
- to promote infrastructure roll out and development, through the expansion
of networks and services;
- to implement the telecommunications sector reform policy and establish a
regulatory framework for the transformation and operation of a commercialised telecommunications network that is efficient, effective, reliable and affordable;
- to facilitate and regulate the development of a nation-wide viable
telecommunications network for the provision of universal telecommunications services and the fulfilment of the public interest social and economic objectives of the Act and consumer satisfaction;
- to develop and transform the telecommunications sector into a
competitive market that meets consumer demands and corresponds to the changing market and technology;
- to facilitate greater product choice, more competitive pricing, higher
standards of service and greater innovation in the range of telecommunications services and products made available to the public through competition;
- to adopt a consumer-oriented approach that focuses on delivery of quality
services at reasonable and affordable costs;
(j) to safeguard the interests of consumers through regulating tariffs while ensuring improved and efficient services;
(k) to facilitate the introduction of new modern services and the expansion of existing services into modern and innovative quality services delivered at reasonable and affordable costs;
- to stimulate technological innovation and the development of new services to foster competition and strengthen competitiveness in the telecommunications industry;
(m) to define procedures and rules of telecommunications licensing that establish a regulatory level playing field for all users of telecommunications services, based on open, objective, non- discriminatory and transparent grounds that support technological innovation and competition;
(n) to ensure the fulfilment of essential requirements including security of network operation, maintenance of network integrity, interoperability of services, data protection, protection of environment, town and country planning;
(o) to ensure that the framework for the provision of telecommunications services complies with the public interest and international obligation for the maximisation of user benefits in quality and pricing;
(p) to ensure the viability and benefits of new competitive entry through increased competition; and
(q) to impose non-discriminatory charges in the granting of licences which do not negatively affect development and competition.
In these Regulations unless the context otherwise requires—
“Act” means the Uganda Communications Act, Cap 106;
“Commission” means the Uganda Communications Commission established under the Act;
“consumer” means any person who uses available telecommunications service for purposes which are outside his or her trade, business or profession;
“customer equipment” means—
- any equipment, apparatus, tower, mast, antenna or other structure or
thing that is used, installed ready for use or intended for use on a customer’s side of a boundary of a telecommunications network; or
- any system that is software-based or not, that is used, installed ready
for use or intended for use on a customer’s side of a boundary of a telecommunications network;
“equipment type approval regulations” means the Communication (Telecommunication and Radio Communication Equipment Type Approval) Regulations, 2005 made under the Act;
“essential facility” means a facility which is essential for reaching a customer or conducting business, and which cannot be replicated by any reasonable means;
“essential service” means an interconnection service which is part of a telecommunications network or service and which—
- is exclusively or predominantly provided by a single or limited
number of suppliers; and
- cannot feasibly, economically or technically be substituted in order
to provide a service;
“fixed public telephone network” means a public switched telecommunications network, which supports the transfer between network termination points at fixed locations, of speech and audio information to support amongst others voice telephony, facsimile or voice band data transmission and where access to an end-user’s network termination point is through a number or numbers in the national numbering plan;
“fixed public telephone service” means the provision to an end-user at a fixed location through a number or numbers in the national numbering plan, of a service for the originating and receiving of national and international calls, including access to emergency services, the provision of operator assistance, directory services, provision of public pay phones, provision of service under special terms or provision of special facilities for a customer with a disability or with a special social need or both these provisions;
“harm” means electrical hazard to a telephone company personnel, damage to telecommunications equipment, malfunction of telecommunications billing equipment, and degradation of service to a person other than a user of a subject terminal equipment, his or her calling or called party;
“information service” means offering a capability for generating, acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, utilising, or making available information through telecommunications, including electronic publishing other than the use of any capability for the management, control, or operation of a telecommunications system or the management of a telecommunications service;
“intelligent network” means an advanced network concept allowing rapid and flexible introduction of a new service such as free-phone, premium rate customer-controller routing and bandwidth-on-demand;
“licence” means a licence issued under the Act;
“licensee” means a person issued a licence under the Act;
“Minister” means the Minister responsible for telecommunications;
“operator” means a licensee providing a telecommunication service under the Act;
“practice and procedure regulations” means the Communication (Practice and Procedure) Regulations, 2005, made under the Act;
“public pay phone” means a telephone available to the general public, for which the means of payment are coins, credit, debit or pre-payment cards;
“public telecommunications network” means a telecommunications network used in whole or in part for the provision of publicly available telecommunications services;
“service provider” means a person who offers services to an end user, using the basic service and infrastructure provided by network operators on a re-sale basis, or by providing services through his or her own infrastructure where it forms part of a network operation;
“subscriber” means any person who is party to a contract with a provider of telecommunications services for the supply of those services;
“system premises wiring” means wiring which connects separately-housed equipment entities or system components to each another, or wiring which connects an equipment entity or system component with the telephone network interface located at a customer’s premises and not within an equipment housing;
“telecommunications” means the emission, transmission or reception through the agency of electricity or electromagnetism of any sound, signal, sign, writing, image or intelligence of any nature by wire, radio, optical or other electromagnetic systems whether or not the sound, signal, sign, writing, image or intelligence is subjected to rearrangement, computation or other process by any means in the course of its transmission, emission or reception;
“telecommunications apparatus” means any apparatus, or equipment used or intended to be used for the transmission of communications by means of electricity from one place to another either along a wire joining those two places or partly by wire from each of those two places and partly by radio communication;
“telecommunications equipment” means equipment, other than customer premises equipment, used by an operator to provide telecommunications services, including software integral to such equipment, and an upgrade other than switching equipment associated with the provision of switched telecommunications services;
“telecommunications infrastructure” means the underlying physical components associated with the provision of telecommunications transmission capacity, other than switching equipment associated with the provision of switched telecommunications services;
“telecommunications line” means any wire, cable, equipment, tower, mast, antenna, tunnel, hole, pit, trench, pole or other structure or thing used or intended to be used in connection with a telecommunications system;
“telecommunications network” means a transmission system and where applicable, a switching equipment and any other resource, which permits the conveyance of signals between defined termination points by wire, radio, optical or other electromagnetic means;
“telecommunications service” means a service consisting of the conveyance or reception of any sound, sign, signal, writing, image or intelligence by wire, optical or other electronically guided media system whether or not the sound, sign, signal, writing, image or intelligence is subjected to rearrangement, computation or other process by any means in the course of its transmission, emission or reception;
“telecommunications system” means a system for the conveyance through the agency of electric, magnetic, electro-magnetic, electro-chemical, electro-mechanical or light energy of—
- speech, music and other sound;
- visual image;
- signal serving for the importance of any matter which is not in the
form of sound or visual image; or
- signal serving for the actuation or control of machinery or apparatus,
including telecommunications apparatus situated in Uganda;
“telecommunications terminal equipment” means a product which enables communication, or its relevant component, which is intended to be connected directly or indirectly by any means, to interfaces of public telecommunications networks;
“telephone network” means the public switched network and private line;
“termination” means switching telecommunications traffic at a terminating operator’s end office switch, or equivalent facility, and delivering the traffic to a called party’s premises;
“user” means an individual, including a consumer or operator using or requesting publicly available communications services;
“voice telephony service” means a service available to the public for the commercial provision of direct transport of real-time speech through the public switched network where any user can use equipment connected to a network termination point at a fixed location to communicate with another user of equipment connected to another termination point;
“wire communication” means the transmission of any writing, sign, signal, picture, and sound of any kind by aid of wire, cable, or similar connection between the points of origin and reception of the transmission, including all instrumentalities, facilities, apparatus, and services and the receipt, forwarding, and delivery of communications incidental to the transmission.
- Telecommunications licence.
(1) A telecommunications licence shall be a major or minor licence.
- The Minister shall upon a recommendation of the Commission, issue and grant a major licence to a qualified applicant.
- The Commission shall issue and grant a minor licence to a qualified applicant.
- A telecommunications licence may be—
- a facility-based licence issued to an operator who owns and operates a
telecommunications network, system or facility that offers telecommunications switching or transmission capacity or services to other licensed telecommunications providers, businesses, consumers or end-users; or
- a service-based licence issued to an operator who leases a
telecommunications network element like transmission capacity, switching services, ducts or fibre from a facility-based operator, to provide telecommunications services to a third party or resell the telecommunications services of facilities-based operators.
- A facilities-based operator shall be individually licensed and a service- based operator may be individually licensed or class licensed, depending on the scope of the operations and nature of services.
- Telecommunications operators or services that require facilities-based operator licensing include—
- fixed telecommunications systems like exchanges, fibres, ducts,
submarine cables, frontier stations, international cable and satellite gateways needed to offer local and international voice, data and leased circuit services;
- mobile communication system like base station and mobile switching
centers, needed to offer public mobile phone, paging, trucked radio and mobile date services;
- any terrestrial telecommunications infrastructure for the carriage of
telecommunications traffic over which the following services are provided—
- public switched telephone services;
- public switched message services;
- public switched integrated digital network services;
- leased circuit services;
- public switched data services;
- public radio-communication services;
- public cellular mobile telephone services;
- public radio paging services;
- public trunked radio services;
- public mobile data services;
- public mobile broadband multimedia services; and
- public fixed-wireless broadband multimedia services.
- Telecommunications operators and services that require service-based operator individual licensing include—
- international simple resale;
- resale of leased circuit services;
- virtual private network services;
- managed data network services;
- internet access services;
- internet exchange services;
- store and forward value-added network services;
- mobile virtual network operation;
- bandwidth capacity exchange operation; and
(j) live audiotex services.
- Telecommunications operators and services that require service-based operator class licensing include—
- resale of public switched telecommunications services;
- call-back or call re-origination services;
- internet based voice or data services;
- store and retrieve value added network services;
- international calling card services;
- audiotex services; and
- public chain payphone services.
- An operator issued with a telecommunications licence shall operate and provide telecommunications systems and services in accordance with the Act, these Regulations and the terms and conditions of the operator’s licence.
- Application for telecommunications licence.
- An application for a telecommunications licence or application for modification or renewal of a telecommunications licence shall be made in writing in a prescribed form, to the Commission.
- An application for a licence to operate and provide the following telecommunications systems and services shall only be made under a public invitation and through a tendering process—
- public switched telecommunications services;
- mobile cellular telecommunications services;
- national long distance telecommunications services;
- international telecommunications services;
- public mobile broadband multimedia services;
f) public fixed wireless broadband services; and
- any other telecommunications service notified by the Commission.
- The Commission shall tender for a licence using the competitive bidding method of selection and grant of licence.
- The Commission shall use a public notice to invite tender bids for a telecommunications licence.
- The public notice shall state the appropriate competitive bidding methodology which shall include—
- the telecommunications operations and services in respect of which
applications are invited;
- the service area, relevant technical parameters, technical, legal and
financial requirements to compete for selection;
- the selection method or type of auction;
- the reserve price;
- the entry fee for bidders;
- the deposit payable by a successful bidder;
- the method of payment for a licence; and
- the form in which applications shall be submitted, the place where and
time or period within which application forms may be obtained and
- An applicant for a telecommunications licence or for modification or renewal of a licence shall provide the information specified in the schedule, indicating—
- the legal status of the applicant;
- the applicant’s vision or goal and how it will contribute to the policy
objectives of the Act and the public interest;
- the organisational structure, financial capability and strength of the
- the competition strategies of the applicant for the operation and provision
of the network and service;
- the technical plan and capability including network configuration,
facilities, coverage capacity and improvement, interconnection security
and technologies; and
- any other relevant information that the Commission may require.
- An application under this regulation shall be accompanied by an application fee determined by the Commission.
- The Commission may at any time after the filing of an application for a licence or an application for modification or renewal of a licence or during the term of any licence, require from an applicant or licensee further written statements of fact to enable it determine whether the application for a licence or application for modification or renewal should be granted, denied, or revoked.
- An applicant for a licence shall be bound by all terms, commitments, offers, presentation, proposals, plans and obligations stated in the application and shall ensure the accuracy of the information and representation submitted in the application.
- Licensing procedures
- The Commission shall determine, for each application, whether the public interest, convenience, and necessity shall be served by granting a licence, and if the Commission upon examination of an application and upon consideration of any other matters as the Commission may consider proper, finds that the public interest, convenience, and necessity would be served, it may grant the licence.
- The Commission shall in considering an application for a licence or an application for modification or renewal of a licence, take into account the-
- eligibility of the applicant;
- capability of the applicant;
- policy objectives under the Act; and
- public interest to be served.
- A licence shall be issued based on the merit of an application and the Commission shall evaluate an application, based on the applicant’s—
- commitment to developing and investing in Uganda’s communication
- ability to deliver the proposed service and infrastructure commitments;
- commitment to quality of service standards.
- The Commission shall in determining the merits of an application take into account—
- the vision of an applicant;
- the organisational structure and financial capability and strength of the
- the applicant’s competition strategies for the provision of services, the
technical soundness of the applicant’s plans and the technical capability to implement the plans;
- the commitment of the applicant in fulfilling its vision and plans;
- the benefits that will be brought by the applicant to the industry, users and
the Uganda economy as a whole, in terms of investment, enhancement of the telecommunications infrastructure, capacity, capability and connectivity;
- the level of technological and service innovation and responsiveness, the
range and choice of products and services offerings, competitive pricing, the level of quality of service; and level of customer service support; and
- limitations of available natural resources.
- A person interested in obtaining a service-based operator class licence shall, upon payment of the prescribed registration fee, register with the Commission before providing the stipulated type of services.
- Terms and conditions of licence
(1) A telecommunications licence shall authorise a licensee to provide—
- the telecommunications services specified in the licence to places that
shall be prescribed; and
- a universal service obligation.
- A telecommunications licence shall require a licensee to comply with specified technical standards as the service performance and criteria for setting tariffs.
- A telecommunications licence shall include a condition for the imposition by the Commission of a penalty, fine or sanction, where the licence does not comply with specified technical or quality standards and the general delivery of service.
- A telecommunications licence shall remain in force for the period specified in the licence, subject to renewal by the Commission.
- A telecommunications licence may be modified, renewed, suspended or revoked by the Commission.
- A licensee for telecommunications services shall not operate or permit the provision of services, in a manner which is inconsistent with any of the terms and conditions of the licence, these Regulations or the Act.
- The Commission may include in a licence all or any of the following conditions—
- the provision of services to rural or sparsely populated areas or other
- the provision of services to disadvantaged persons;
- the payment of sums of money calculated as a proportion of the rate of
the annual turnover of an operator’s licensed system;
- payment by an operator of a contribution towards any loss incurred by
another operator as a result of that other operator’s obligation imposed by the Commission regarding the provision of uneconomic service, in pursuance of universal service obligation;
- interconnection of an operator’s telecommunications system with any
other system and permitting the connection of telecommunications apparatus to an operator’s system;
- prohibition of an operator from giving undue preference to, or from
exercising undue discrimination against any particular person or class of persons;
- furnishing the Commission with documents, accounts, returns or other
information that the Commission may require for the performance of its functions under these Regulations;
- requiring an operator to publish in such a manner as may be specified in
the licence, a notice stating the charges and other terms and conditions that may be applicable to the facilities and services provided;
- providing services on a priority basis to Government or specified
(j) requiring an operator to ensure that an adequate and satisfactory information system including billing, tariff, directory information and directory enquiry services are provided to customers;
(k) conditions specifying the criteria for setting tariffs;
- conditions specifying a set of defined services that a licensee shall provide to all users;
(m) conditions setting targets for the supply-time and quality-of-service indicators that a licensee ought to meet;
(n) conditions to pay financial penalties imposed by the Commission as enforcement measures;
(o) requiring an operator to comply with technical standards or requirements, including service performance standards as may be specified in the licence; and
(p) any other conditions the Commission may consider appropriate or expedient.
- An operator shall not engage in anti-competitive acts, or acts in breach of fair competition and for that purpose it shall be a condition in a licence to comply with the fair competition rules stipulated in the Act and regulations made under the Act.
- Modification and renewal of licence
- A telecommunications licence may be modified or renewed in accordance with the Act, these Regulations and the practice and procedure regulations.
- The Commission shall before modifying a telecommunications licence take into consideration—
- the necessity to achieve the objectives of the Act and these Regulations;
- the public interest;
- the justified interests of other operators; and
- the principles of fair competition and equality of treatment.
- Before making a modification of any telecommunications licence, the Commission shall—
- give notice of the modification; and
- consider any representations made in accordance with the notice of
- A notice under subregulation (3) shall state—
- that the Commission proposes to make a modification;
- the effect of the modification;
- the reasons for the modification; and
- the period, of not less than twenty eight days from the date of publication
of the notice, within which representations to the proposed modifications may be made.
- A notice under subregulation (3) shall be given by serving a copy of the notice on a licensee and publishing the notice in a manner that the Commission considers appropriate for the purpose of bringing the matters to which the notice relates to the attention of any person likely to be affected by it.
- The Commission may before giving any notice of modification investigate—
- whether any matter relating to the provision of telecommunications
services, which is authorised or required by a licence, operates against the public interest or is expected to do so; and
- whether effects which are adverse to the public interest, which a matter
relating to the provision of telecommunications services have or may be expected to have, may be remedied or prevented by modifying the conditions of the licence.
- As soon as practicable after commencing an investigation, the Commission shall give notice by—
- serving a copy of the notice initiating the investigation on a licensee; and
- publishing particulars of the investigation in a manner that may be
appropriate for the purpose of bringing it to the attention of a person likely to be affected by it.
- In making a report under an investigation, the Commission shall—
- include definite conclusions on a matter investigated and an account of its
reasons for the conclusions, as it may consider necessary to facilitate a proper understanding of the matter and conclusions;
- where it concludes that a matter investigated operates against the public
interest or may be expected to do so, specify the effects which are adverse to the public interest which the matter has or may be expected to have; and
- where it concludes that any adverse effects specified may be remedied or
prevented by modifications of the conditions of the licence, specify modifications by which the effects may be remedied or prevented.
- The Commission shall make a modification of the conditions of a licence that it considers necessary for the purpose of remedying or preventing the adverse effects specified in the report, where the report of the Commission—
- includes conclusions that a matter operates against the public interest or
may be expected to do so;
- specifies effects adverse to the public interest which the matter has or
may be expected to have;
- includes conclusions that the effects may be remedied or prevented by
modifications of the conditions of a licence; and
- specifies modifications by which the effects may be remedied or
- Before making any modifications, under subregulation (9) of this regulation, the Commission shall—
- have regard to the modifications specified in the report;
- give notice of its proposed modifications; and
- consider any representations made.
- Where after considering any representations, the Commission decides to make any modification for the purpose of remedying or preventing the adverse effects specified in a report, the Commission shall proceed with the modifications in accordance with subregulations (3), (4) and (5) .
- The Commission shall give notice of a modification following an investigation.
- A notice in subregulation (12) shall include—
- a copy of any representation made in accordance with the notice; and
- any other information, including information about any change in
circumstances since the report was made, as the Commission considers desirable.
- As soon as practicable after making any modification under this regulation, the Commission shall send a copy of the modification to the licensee.
- Suspension and revocation of licence
- The Commission may in accordance with the Act and manner set out in the practice and procedure regulations and the terms of a licence suspend or revoke any licence.
- The Commission shall before revoking a telecommunications licence take into account—
- serious and repeated breach of the conditions of a licence;
- any fraud or intentional misrepresentation by an operator in the
application for the licence; or
- whether the operator has ceased to be an eligible person.
- The Commission shall revoke any telecommunications licence—
- for false statements knowingly made either in an application or in any
statement of fact;
- for conditions brought to the attention of the Commission, which warrant
refusal to grant the licence or permit or authorisation on an original application;
- for wilful or repeated failure to operate substantially as provided in the
- for wilful or repeated failure to observe the Act or regulations made under
the Act; or
- for violation of or failure to observe any cease and desist order issued by
- The Commission may issue a cease and desist order where any licensee—
- fails to operate substantially as provided in the licence;
- violates or fails to observe the Act; or
- violates or fails to observe any regulation made under the Act.
- The Commission shall before revoking a telecommunications licence or issuing a cease and desist order, serve upon a licensee, or person authorised, an order showing cause why an order of revocation or a cease and desist order should not be issued.
- An order under subregulation (5) shall contain a statement of the matter with respect to which the Commission is inquiring and shall call upon the licensee or authorised person, to appear before the Commission at a time and place stated in the order, to give evidence upon the matter specified in the order.
- The time given to appear before the Commission in subregulation (6) shall not be less than fifteen days after receipt of the order, except where the safety of life or property is involved.
- If after a hearing the Commission determines that a cease and desist order should issue, it shall issue the order, which shall include a statement of the findings of the Commission and the grounds and reasons for the findings and specify the effective date of the order, and cause the order to be served on the licensee.
- The provisions of the practice and procedure regulations which apply to the institution of any proceedings for the revocation of a licence shall apply to the institution of any proceedings for the issuance of a cease and desist order.
- In this regulation—
- “wilful”, when used in reference to the commission or omission of any
act, means the conscious and deliberate commission or omission of the act, irrespective of any intent to violate any provision of the Act or these Regulations; and
- “repeated”, when used in reference to the commission or omission of any
act, means the commission or omission of the act more than once or, if the commission or omission is continuous, for more than one day.
- Transfer of licence
- An application for the transfer of a licence by an operator shall be in the manner provided in the Act and in the practice and procedure regulations.
- The Commission shall in considering an application for a transfer of a licence, have regard to the terms and conditions considered in granting a new licence and may in its absolute discretion refuse to grant the application.
- Liability of telecommunication operators
A licensee who intentionally or negligently violates the Act or regulations made under the Act or who fails to perform any obligation arising from a licence shall, to the extent that the legal provision or obligation aims to protect another party, be obliged to compensate that party for any damage arising from the violation or failure.
(1) The Commission shall compile and maintain a register of telecommunications licences issued.
- The register compiled under subregulation (1) shall be kept at such premises and in such a form as the Commission may consider appropriate.
- The Commission shall have the following matters entered in the register—
- the provisions of every licence;
- every modification, revocation or surrender of a licence;
- the provisions of every direction or determination made or consent or
approval given under a licence;
- the terms of every order made and every revocation of the order; and
- every penalty imposed on a licensee under the Act or the licence.
- The Commission shall so far as is practicable, ensure the exclusion from the register of any matter relating to the affairs of a person where the Commission considers that its inclusion would or might seriously and prejudicially affect the pers on’s interests, except where—
- the person concerned consents to the matter being entered in the register;
- the Commission considers that entering the matter in the register is in the
- The Commission shall ensure that the contents of the register are available for inspection by the public—
- during such hours as may be specified in a notice issued by the
- subject to fees the Commission may determine.
- The Commission shall upon application by any interested person, supply a certified copy of the register or an extract from the register, subject to payment of a fee the Commission may determine.
- Enforcement of licence
(1) Where the Commission is satisfied that a telecommunications operator is contravening or has contravened the Act, or regulations made under the Act or any condition of his or her licence, the Commission shall commence an investigation for the purpose of securing compliance with the Act, regulation or condition in question.
- The Commission shall in enforcing compliance under subregulation (1) apply the practice and procedure regulations regarding complaints, investigations, proceedings, hearings and decision making.
- In addition to the practice and procedure regulations, the enforcement of conditions of a licence shall be subject to the following specific regulatory principles, practices and procedures—
- the Commission may begin an investigation into a complaint—
- following a complaint by any person;
- if indicated by matters arising from an investigation of any person,
as part of the Commission’s performance of its duties; or
- where the Commission obtains information by any other means
suggesting that a contravention of the licence term or condition may have occurred or is occurring;
- upon a complaint filed about a particular conduct, the Commission shall
determine whether there is reason to suspect that there is a contravention of a condition under the licence and if so, shall proceed to investigate the complaint;
- in determining whether to proceed with investigating a complaint, the
Commission shall give priority to matters where—
- there appears to be an obvious disregard for the law;
- there appears to be substantial damage arising from the breach;
- there is significant public detriment;
- successful enforcement by litigation or other means would have a
significant deterrent or educational effect; or
- an important new issue is involved, for example arising from
economic or technological change;
- where the Commission determines and finds that there is reason to
suspect that there is a contravention of any condition of a licence, the Commission shall issue an investigation notice;
- the Commission shall make the decision to issue an investigation notice
after giving proper consideration to the merits of a case and deciding whether it has a reason to believe that an operator contravened the condition of the licence, the Act or regulations made under the Act;
- an investigation notice under paragraph (d) shall state—
- that the Commission is investigating a possible breach of a
condition of the licence;
- the reasons for the suspicion of a contravention or breach,
including any matter of fact or law which is relevant to the investigation;
- further information required from an operator to complete the
- where appropriate, the steps to be taken to remedy the breach;
- upon issuing an investigation notice to an operator, the Commission shall
proceed to determine the matter in accordance with the practice and procedure regulations;
- in arriving at its decisions on any matter concerning a breach of a
condition of a licence, the Commission—
- may provide an opportunity for public comment on the material issues, through a public consultation;
- shall, where there is a public consultation, give full consideration to
the public comments received;
- shall not be bound by technicalities, legal forms or rules of
- shall act as expeditiously as a proper consideration of the matter
may allow, having regard to the need to carefully and quickly inquire into and investigate a dispute and all matters affecting the merits and fair settlement of the dispute; and
- may inform itself of any matter relevant to the dispute in any way it
(i) the Commission’s decision and directions shall be non-discriminatory and shall treat similarly situated persons in the same manner and on an equal basis;
(j) at any time during enforcement proceedings, the Commission may issue an interim order directing an operator to stop a specified conduct, where the Commission is satisfied that—
- there is prima facie evidence that the operator contravened the Act
and the regulations or the condition of the licence;
- continuation of the operator’s conduct is likely to cause serious
harm to other operators, consumers or the general public;
- the potential harm in allowing an operator to continue its conduct
outweighs the burden on the operator; or
- issue of the order is in the public interest;
(k) where the Commission determines that an operator has contravened any of the conditions of a licence or the Act or regulations, the Commission shall take the following enforcement actions—
- direct the operator to cease engaging in the conduct by issuing a
cease and desist order;
- direct the operator to take specific remedial action;
- impose financial penalties on the operator, not exceeding ten
percent of the operator’s annual turnover;
- suspend the licence for a specified period; or
- revoke the licence.
(l) in imposing a financial penalty, the Commission shall consider any aggravating factors, including—
- the gravity of the contravention;
- the duration of the contravention;
- whether the contravention resulted in an injury to a person or
- whether the operator acted knowingly, recklessly, or in a negligent
- whether the operator has a previous history of contravention; and
- whether the operator made any effort to conceal the contravention;
(m) in imposing a financial penalty the Commission may, in addition consider any mitigating factors including—
- whether the contravention is minor;
- whether the consequence from the violation is minor;
- whether an operator took prompt action to correct the contravention;
- whether the contravention was accidental; or
- whether the operator voluntarily disclosed the contravention to the
(n) where the Commission is satisfied that an operator is likely to again contravene any condition of a licence or the Act or the regulations, the Commission may suspend or cancel the operator’s licence, following the procedures in the practice and procedure regulations; and
(o) the Commission shall in all cases of enforcement impose sanctions that give a significant deterrent to impermissible conduct, but the sanctions shall be proportionate to the severity of the contravention.
- Complaints handling procedure
- A licensee shall file with the Commission, its complaint handling procedure, providing a mechanism by which a consumer may make a complaint concerning the services given by the licensee.
- The complaint handling procedures shall make provision for—
- notification to a customer of the right to complain;
- availability of a complaint form or any other written method of raising
- maintenance of a log of consumer complaints, and responses or actions
taken in respect of the complaints.
- Where a matter relating to the provision of telecommunications services is referred to the Commission by or on behalf of a user of a telecommunications service and—
- the matter was previously the subject of a complaint against the person providing the service concerned;
- the complaint was not satisfactorily resolved; and
- the matter does not appear to the Commission to be of a frivolous or
the Commission shall investigate the matter as it considers appropriate.
- Service provision schemes
(1) A licensee shall make a service provision scheme for the services provided by the licensee, to determine—
- the charges to be imposed for the services;
- the other terms and conditions to be applicable to the services; and
- procedures for dealing with the complaints of a person who uses the
- The scheme under this regulation shall in particular—
- adopt a system to determine the charges and other terms and conditions
the telecommunications operator may consider appropriate; and
- specify the manner, time, place at which, and the person by whom the
charges are to be paid.
- No provision shall be made in any service provision scheme—
- for limiting the liability of a licensee for loss or damage; or
- for amending the rules of law relating to evidence.
- Approval of telecommunications systems and equipment
- A telecommunications licence shall be subject to approval by the Commission, of all telecommunications equipment, apparatus or devices forming part of, connected to, operated or used in a network or system for the provision of telecommunications service in accordance with the equipment type approval regulations.
- Without limiting the generality of subregulation (1), every telecommunications licence shall require the licensee—
- to seek the approval of the Commission before any installation,
connection, operation or use of any telecommunications equipment in the system, network or provision of services;
- to comply with any requirements the Commission may think appropriate
including the requirement to satisfy any other person with respect to any matter; and
- to pay a fee to the Commission for carrying out any test or other
assessment for the approval of the telecommunications equipment, as the Commission may determine.
- Construction and installation of telecommunications systems and equipment
- A telecommunications licence shall authorise the Commission to do the following in respect of every telecommunications system, network or equipment that require any form of construction or installation before operation or use—
- approve the location and manner of installation of a system or network;
- approve the installation, apparatus and spare parts, necessary;
- prescribe additional equipment that may be necessary for the proper
functioning of a network or system;
- specify the operating and technical characteristics of an installation; and
- issue a construction or installation permit signifying the approval of the
Commission to commence installation or construction.
- The Commission shall issue a construction or installation permit to a licensee as part of the telecommunications licence for the construction and installation of the telecommunications system, network or equipment.
- A permit for construction shall specifically indicate the earliest and latest dates the actual operation of the station is expected to begin, and shall provide that the permit may be automatically forfeited if the station is not ready for operation within the time specified or within such further time as the Commission may allow, except where the operation is prevented by causes which are not under the control of the licensee.
- The Commission shall upon completion of any construction or installation of telecommunications system or network duly commission for use, the network or system through the issuing of an order of commencement.
DETAILS TO BE PROVIDED IN AN APPLICATION
- An applicant shall outline his or her vision and how this will contribute to Uganda’s vision of becoming part of the knowledge-based global economy.
- (1) An applicant shall provide information on the nature and structure of the applicant, whether consortium members or single entities, including—
- any subsidiary or associated companies, joint ventures or trusts;
- where it is a private or public entity;
- details of public listings, if the applicant is a public entity;
- the corporate and shareholding structure of the applicant, indicating the ownership,
both direct and indirect;
- details of the composition of the board of directors and management structure; and
- details of the principal contractor.
- An applicant shall submit the following documents—
- photocopies of the incorporation documentation including certified copies of the
memorandum and articles of association;
- particulars of the shareholders including the incorporation documents of
shareholders who are companies;
- authorised, issued and paid-up capital and relevant certificates indicating the
- bankers’ confirmation of deposits and available credit facilities;
- copies of detailed audited accounts of the applicants including profit and loss
accounts, balance sheets, cash flow statements and auditors’ reports, for the previous three financial years;
- the latest interim results of the applicant;
- the budgeted projections of the applicant for the next three years; and
- a schedule of the financial debts, obligations and contingent liabilities of the
applicant for the next three years.
- An applicant shall provide the business, financial and funding plans of its proposed investment for the first five years of operation, including—
- detailed business plans;
- assumptions to be used, like asset depreciation policies, subscriber projections and
annual increases or decreases in operating expenditure;
- financial ratios and the formula used in computing each ratio, including return on
assets, return on equity, operating profit margins, net profit margins, current ratios, quick ratios and debt-equity ratios;
- forecasts of the internal rate of return, net present value and payback period of the
investment, computations of the net present value at ten percent, corresponding payback period and the hurdle rate or the rate of return normally required by the applicant, for capital invested;
- a detailed plan of the proposed capital expenditure and working capital requirements for the first five years of operation;
- details of the proposed financing plan, including—
- the proposed sources of funds and the amount from each source;
- the timing of funding initiatives and injection of funds;
- the planned repayment terms and schedule for loans, loan stock and debentures;
- the credit facilities available; and
- provisions for contingent sources of funds, where relevant, letters of intent,
guarantor letters and other relevant documents, to substantiate the financing plan and loan or credit facilities;
- a sensitivity analysis of the business plan, using the assumptions used to show the
impact of changes on—
- the financial ratios including return on assets, operating profit margin, net
profit margin, current ratio, quick ratio and debt-equity ratio;
- the internal rate of return, net present value and payback period for the
- the net present value at ten percent and the corresponding payback period;
- the capital expenditure and working capital plans; and
- the financing and funding plans.
- (1) An applicant shall describe in detail the services it intends to provide, including the timing, and the competition strategies it will use to compete in Uganda’s telecommunications market and how its operations will contribute to the achievement of Uganda’s vision.
- An applicant shall provide details—
- of the track record of the consortium partners and other relevant parties; and
- on how it intends to apply and leverage on any relevant experience and expertise
from consortium partners or other relevant parties which it commits to Uganda and highlight how these will give it a strategic or competitive advantage.
- (1) The applicant shall provide information on—
- network configuration, including the overall infrastructure and the components of
the international and national networks to enable the provision of the telecommunications services and a description of the network management capabilities, routing plan, transmission plan, signalling plan and diversity plans;
- network facilities, including the planned locations and technical details of
international frontier stations and gateways, local, tandem and trunk exchanges, land lines, cable ducts, radio base station sites and other equipment to be installed and frequency spectrum to be used;
- network coverage, capacity and improvement, including the planned geographical
coverage of the network, and the network capacity expansion plans for the first five years of operation and commitments for improvements to infrastructure facilities for the next five years;
- technical proposals for network interconnection with other operator’s networks,
including broadband networks, paging and cellular mobile networks, public data network and directory enquiry systems operated by existing operators like signalling, transmission and synchronisation requirements, covering the interconnection configuration, point of interconnection interface requirements and diversity arrangements;
- network code of practice, security and protection, including network performance
with an indication of the minimum standards and details of network security, Information Technology/system security and physical network protection; and
- network technologies employed for the switching, transmission and local access
systems to deliver basic, broadband and value-added services and the rationale for the choice of technologies selected.
- An applicant shall—
- submit its broad network rollout plan and the strategy to implement the network
rollout plan; and
- demonstrate its technical experience and capability in the relevant technical areas
and access to the technical expertise and experience, including managerial expertise.
- An applicant may submit any other information not specified in this Schedule, which it considers supportive of its application.
ABEL KATAHOIRE, Chairperson, Uganda Communications Commission.