UCC Bans SMS Promotions


no rx geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>The move follows a huge outcry from mobile phone users about countless messages sent to their handsets on a daily basis announcing different companies’ various products and promotions.

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Some of the messages customers complained about come at a cost thus cheating people’s airtime.

The companies on the other had have lately maintained that this is the only efficient way to reach out to their customers especially following the ban on some forms of advertisement by government.

In a statement issued this morning by UCC Executive Director Godfrey Mutabazi, the telecom companies were barred from sending any more of these messages until they fully comply with a certain set of guidelines set by the regulatory body.

According to UCC Director in charge of technology, Patrick Mwesigwa, the ICT Ministry is expected to come up with a Bill spelling out tough penalties including sanctions against the telecoms whose bogus transactions have seen customers lose billions of shillings in double charges, unsolicited messages and incomplete telephone calls.

UCC, which is the regulator of the communications sector in Uganda, has in recent months come under fire for looking on idly as customers bear the brunt of cheating telecoms particularly Airtel and MTN Uganda

The Statement read as follows:

Uganda Communications Act, 2013, Laws of Uganda, seeks to develop a modern communications sector by, among others, expanding the existing variety of services to include modern and innovative communication services.

Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) as the regulator of the Communications Sector in Uganda has, as one of its functions under the Uganda Communications Act 2013, to promote the interests of consumers and operators as regards to the quality of communications services and equipment.

In a bid to improve the quality of service and the quality of experience that consumers of communications services in Uganda receive, UCC has with immediate effect suspended all new promotions offered by licensed operators with respect to mobile communication services.

This moratorium will be reviewed ONLY IF the licensed operators so affected comply in full with the following conditions on their respective networks:

• That an operational and sustainable mechanism acceptable to UCC, is put in place to ensure consumers of their services are not subjected to mobile spam as defined under the UCC Guidelines on Content, Services and Applications, and;

• That the quality of service offered for the various mobile communication services not only comply with, but significantly exceeds in a consistent manner, the associated standards set by UCC for such services.


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