The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) says the “success” development and adoption of the guidelines on National Roaming will enable customers to have seamless access and coverage irrespective of their network.
As per the National Broadband Policy, which was approved by the cabinet in 2018, telecom operators are required to offer national roaming services on their respective networks to the other licensees engaged in the provision of mobile communication services in Uganda.
The policy was developed to avert duplication of resources in the provision of broadband services in the country and ensure both rural and urban connectivity to the services.
National roaming refers to the ability of a customer to make and receive voice calls automatically, send and receive data, or access other services, even when traveling outside the geographical coverage area of his/her service provider, using the service of the other service provider's network.
“Roaming will enable customers to automatically access communication services even when traveling outside the geographical coverage of their service Provider hence providing convenience to the consumer,” UCC says.
The Commission rolled out the roaming guidelines seek to ensure that roaming between the operators in Uganda takes place on “a fair, transparent and economically efficient basis, for the benefit of consumers, operators and the overall economy.”
Objectives of the guidelines include:
- Improving the resilience of Mobile Communications networks and services for improvement in the quality of Communications services in Uganda;
- Promoting fair competition among operators;
- Encourage infrastructure sharing to promote the availability and seamless nationwide access by consumers to mobile services in Uganda;
- Promoting innovation and investment to facilitate the development of related communications markets.
As of April 1, there were thirty-three telecom operators in Uganda, classified into 5 licensing categories, namely: National Telecom Operator (NTO), National Public Service Provider (NPSP), Regional Public Service Provider (RPSP), National Public Infrastructure Provider (NPIP) License and finally the Regional Public Infrastructure Provider (RPIP) License