The primary law of the Communications Sector is the Uganda Communications Act 2013, which established Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) as the regulator in the sector. Section 5(1)(c) of the Act confers upon the regulator the responsibility to allocate, license, standardize and manage the use of the radio frequency spectrum resources in a
manner that ensures widest variety of programming and optimal utilization of spectrum resources.
Radio frequency spectrum resources are scarce and the used in several radio communications services in Uganda like Aeronautics, TV and Radio Broadcasting, National Security, private radio networks and Telecommunications (based on CDMA, LTE, UMTS, GSM, WIMAX, McWILL, & Point to Point). The commission has come out and shared a document with the public detailing how they will manage spectrum resources.
According to the report, telecoms have so far exhausted 70% of the available resources and the FM radio spectrum band occupy 89% with a number of the planning regions at 100%. Details in graph shown below.
It should be noted that Spectrum demands in Uganda are driven by a number of factors. Key among these are the level of usage of the associated services, technology developments, the national plans, as well as regional and international decisions.
Although there is continued evolution of more spectrum efficient technologies like 5G in telecoms, the industry is also developing new spectrum-hungry systems and applications. The emergence of a networked society and expansion in use of spectrum to other sectors of the economy like agriculture, transport and energy due to developments such as Internet of Things (IoT), has also heightened the scarcity of spectrum and its
importance to the development agenda of the country.
Spectrum Policy Objectives
This Radio Spectrum Management Policy puts forth the objectives, principles and associated proclamations that shall guide UCC in the management of the radio frequency spectrum within its existing legislative responsibilities in order to extract maximum social-economic value for Uganda.
The specific objectives of the radio spectrum management policy are as follows:
a) To encourage the investment in and use of spectrum efficient technologies and techniques.
b) To facilitate the development, of the use of radio-communication services and applications by Government, commercial and private users across the country.
c) To improve the transparency and effectiveness of the spectrum
management process in Uganda
In the same policy, UCC has the powers to withdraw any radio spectrum:
i. that is not brought into use by the date specified in the authorization and/or assignment
ii. that is underutilized due to unauthorized suspension in the use of the spectrum.
iii. That is determined to be under-utilized by UCC
Spectrum fees shall be determined on a case by case basis through administrative processes by the regulator and market oriented mechanisms as applicable. UCC shall ensure that Uganda’s interests are promoted and safeguarded in regional and international spectrum management activities.
And in order to enforce the policy, UCC shall acquire and deploy equipment or infrastructure required to effectively monitor and inspect the use of radio spectrum in Uganda. Any interference reported or observed shall be investigated and
See detailed report here.