The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) set new conditions that will guide telecom operators after allowing them to resume selling SIM cards to corporate firms, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), ministries, departments and agencies of government, and any other unnatural persons.
According to UCC, only companies that have had their registration documents verified by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) will be allowed to acquire SIM cards.
“The telecom operators shall only issue the SIM card to the company after receiving confirmation from URSB about the authenticity of the company documents provided,” UCC said in a Saturday statement.
Previously, corporate bodies were allowed to have unlimited SIM cards registered in their name as long as the accounting officer has furnished the provider with relevant documents, including articles and memorandum of association.
But UCC has realized that some unscrupulous individuals had taken advantage of this loophole to submit fake company documents to providers on the basis of which they get multiple SIM cards registered.
Now, UCC says that each telecommunications operator will register a maximum of 100 corporate SIM cards on its network.
“Where an eligible corporate body requests to acquire more than 100 (One Hundred) SIM Cards on any telecom operator’s network, the telecom operator must advise the corporate body to seek for express written approval from the Commission,” the Commission says.
“The request must contain clear reasons why exceptional approval must be provided. The maximum number of 100 SIM Cards allowed on each telecom operator’s network is applicable whether the SIM Cards are applied for at once or cumulatively over a period of time in the name of the subject corporate body or entity.”
To allow the smooth running of this new initiative, telcos have been given thirty days to develop guidelines for selling SIM cards.
“Each telecommunications operator must develop and submit to the Commission detailed guidelines on Corporate SIM Card registration. The guidelines must be submitted to the Commission within 30 days from the date hereof,” says UCC’s statement.
“All telecommunication service providers must, within thirty (30) days from the date of issuance of this Directive, audit their existing Corporate SIM Card database and undertake necessary steps to harmonise and align it with this Directive. The audit and alignment process must be concluded within ninety (90) days from the date of thereof.”
In June, the acting Executive Director of UCC Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo directed all telecommunications operators to stop selling sim cards to the aforementioned institutions, saying they had received complaints alleging failure and/or refusal by operators to adhere to the set SIM card registration processes, especially in respect of SIM cards sold to corporate customers.