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Uganda’s Quest To Safeguard Mobile Users

by Milcah Lukhanyu
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In a bid to curb fraudsters in Uganda’s mobile industry, the country’s telcos regulator, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has announced plans to introduce a new law to regulate advertising using short text messaging services and mobile money business.

The move by UCC is set to ‘restore sanity’ andimprove the quality of services that mobile telephone companies have added onto their mobile platforms and have turned into a safe haven for fraudsters to fleece the unsuspecting public.

Mr Godfrey Mutabazi, the UCC Executive Director saysthat the most common form of theft by the mobile telephone operators has been loss of mobile money, dropped telephone calls, free airtime promotions, SMS promotions where the public is asked to vote through certain codes, unsolicited messaging services where the public loses money by replying text messages to certain numbers as well as unexplained airtime deductions. He singled out Orange Telecom as the only mobile operator which has tried to stick to prudent business by protecting its customers.
To protect the mobile users, UCC is partnering with Bank of Uganda to set up laws on mobile commerce as well as make amendments to the 1997 Uganda Mobile Communications Act which is lacking in the prosecution of fraudsters.

Though the prices of internet have considerably dropped in the last two years, its quality has been compromised by such unprofessional activities by the telephone operators and users are discouraged from free airtime promotions because it congests the network.



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