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MTN Uganda might pay higher licence fees after Uganda Communication Commission introduced a new lincesing regime.

It states that the telecom firm’s operating licence will now be extended from 15 to 20 years. It further states that the companies will havve to apply for only one operating licence either as a National Telecom Operator (NTO), National Public Service Provider (NPSP), Regional Public Service Provider (RPSP), and National Public Infrastructure Provider (NPIP) License or as Regional Public Infrastructure Provider (RPIP) License.

A NTO will, at minimum, cover 95% of the country’s geographical area, eligible for national spectrum allocation based on expansion plans, legal and regulatory framework, public interest and availability of respective resources.

This means that the telecom giant could pay higher fees for operating so as to comply with the new regime.

Ibrahim Bossa, UCC’s Spokesperson said, “MTN has been having a national telecommunication operating licence and nothing has changed…the stage at which we are now on with regard to renewal of its licence is the determination of how much it is going to cost”.

An operator whose coverage is over 65% of the geographical boundary of Uganda, or operating in three regions, UCC says, they shall be legible for a national license in the NTO or National PIP or PSP category.

This applies to MTN, Airtel, UTL and Africell. Operators currently covering less than 65% or operating in less than three regions, will be eligible for a regional license.

MTN Uganda recorded a tremendous increase in revenue by 30.5% to Shs765.32bn for the first six months ending June 30th.

Currently, MTN Uganda holds about 54% market share in a market of eight telecom firms. It has approximately 11.3million customers.

They however welcomed the proposal of infrastructure sharing and the idea that UCC should crackdown on spectrum hoarding and speculative investors.

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