UCC accused of incompetence by MPs, over spam SMS and unlicensed radio stations
We’ve always never supported the increasing number of unsolicited SMS, but with the mushrooming advertising companies that want to reach their clientele via SMS, its clear telecom operators also see this as a great source of revenue. According to information revealed yesterday at Parliament, incomprehensible irregularities at Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and absence of a national standard to regulate mobile carriers in Uganda account for why more than 17 million mobile-phone subscribers are paying for spam messages and calls.
According to the Daily Monitor, The parliament committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises discovered that because of the “unexplained absence” of an amalgamated document on the national communications standards, licensing guidelines to operators fall short and cannot stop Ugandans from losing money to spam SMS and promotional calls. It was also revealed that for every unsolicited text message or calls mobile subscribers are charged between Shs150 ($ 0.06) to Shs500 ($0.18).
UCC officials led by Mr Jonas Bantulaki, the director broadcasting, yesterday insisted that UCC developed standards for different services but are not integrated into one unit. “People are suffering because of the incompetence of UCC,” Mr Ibrahim Ssemujju (Kyadondo East), the committee chairperson, said.
CBS Operating illegally
UCC came under fire again and quizzed to explain why some radio stations including Buganda Kingdom radio, CBS FM, is operating without an official license. In their defense, the UCC officials explained that there was a pending court case but Mr Ssemujju ruled them out reminding them that the case had nothing do with the lack of a licence. It should be recalled that in 2009, the government, through the communication commission closed CBS, among other radio stations in 2009, accusing them of breaching regulations governing broadcasting after the bloody Buganda riots that occurred.
Source: Daily Monitor