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Telecom firms warned on operating licenses

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th November 2011 07:19 PM

TELECOM operators have been warned that the renewal of their operating licenses will now be dependent on the quality of the service. The frequency of surveys is also likely to increase to as often as every seven days, a senior government official said last week.

Telecom firms warned on operating licenses

TELECOM operators have been warned that the renewal of their operating licenses will now be dependent on the quality of the service. The frequency of surveys is also likely to increase to as often as every seven days, a senior government official said last week.

 By Samuel Sanya

TELECOM operators have been warned that the renewal of their operating licenses will now be dependent on the quality of the service. The frequency of surveys is also likely to increase to as often as every seven days, a senior government official said last week.  

Recent technical surveys by telecoms regulator, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) between May and September, revealed that none of the seven mobile telephone service providers met the standard for a maximum 2% for dropped and blocked calls. 

The survey established that Airtel dropped 15.2% of its calls, uganda telecom 11.4%, MTN 11.1%, Warid 8.75% and Orange 3.75%.

Dropped and blocked calls are those that are unable to establish connection with the intended call recipient or those that lapse midway due to network problems. 

“Now that we have about 20 million mobile phone subscribers, what we need is quality. 

“Before we renew a license we have to ensure that the service is excellent,” Nyombi Thembo, the ICT state minister said at the opening of the Orange Telecom Expo at the UMA Exhibition Hall in Kampala. Orange showcased latest technology to customers at a three-day expo that run from November 18 to 20.

The fair was conducted under the theme “See how simple life can be.”

The Orange Expo 2011 came on the back of a successful inaugural one last year, which attracted over 7,000 visitors.

The company explained in a statement that the concept of the expo was to bring Orange customers together to experience what it has to offer them under one-roof.

This year’s expo, the statement added, looked at how it can empower and simplify the way SMEs do business, provide Internet solutions and connect with the youth, with a number of   lifestyle activities like gaming, football and music.

“As the world changes, technology evolves. 

“There are plenty of new things to tell and show every year. 

“This is why Orange Expo 2011 is there,” Edouard Blondeau, the chief strategy officer, said in an earlier statement.

Blondeau observed that the Internet is increasingly present in daily life and devices were getting more connected to the Internet, empowering people to do more with their phones. Blondeau said the expo targeted a wide audience, from young people, families, business community and the tech-savvy. 

Orange has partnered with Acer, Huawei, ZTE, Samsung, Alcatel and Google, which also showcased their latest technology and services. 

It also hosted Techfest 2011, an event aiming at showcasing innovative technology initiatives in Uganda.

Thembo added that telecom operators should stop finger-pointing and fault-finding, but instead focus on improving telecom services to the public. 

The minister indicated that the UCC had the potential to carry out weekly and monthly quality surveys on the operators. 

Thembo also noted that present laws on vandalism of communication equipment were weak and that a more punitive law is needed to curb thefts of communication tower angle bars and oil from upcountry stations. 

Philippe Luxcey, the Orange Uganda boss, said the current frequent power blackouts around the country were affecting their service provision. 

“Power is critical to our operations and the current countrywide power load shedding is affecting us.   

“We also need stronger laws to reduce the theft of the copper angle bars and oil at our stations,” he noted.

Telecom firms warned on operating licenses

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