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By Esther Nakkazi

“We are going to procure bandwidth in bulk for all government ministries and institutions. The ministry shall lead the way, and probably be Seacoms’ first clients in Uganda. We shall take bandwidth to every corner of the country, no matter how far, we promise to get there,” said Dr. Godfrey Kibuuka, the director broadcasting at the ICT ministry during the IST Africa workshop in Kampala.

“The licensing regime has succeeded in some of its objectives but it is currently allowing many players in the market. As other variables start changing like the devaluing of the shilling, the government should restrict license issuance,” said an official from Warid Telecom during the UCC Interconnection seminar held at Serena Hotel.

“At policy level, it may be difficult to say that we are closing the market. The numbers are not going to grow the same way it was when the market had just opened after the duopoly,” said Engineer Patrick Masambu, the executive director UCC.

“Why don’t telecom companies sell shares to us (Ugandans), we need to have a requirement for nationals to have ownership in particular investments in this sector, said Kabazi, an IT consumer.

“Why don’t we compensate those who are hoarding spectrum and then increase the levy to 2 percent,” suggested a consumer during the UCC interconnection seminar. All operators pay a 1 percent levy off annual revenues to the Rural Communication Development Fund.

“Smiles will provide affordable communication services to consumers. We shall focus on low-income earners. We are targeting at least 2 million subscribers after the first year of operation,” said Neo Lesela, the director Smiles Communications Uganda Limited at Serena Hotel. It will be the sixth telecom in the Ugandan market. It already has a license.

We have to show the ministry of finance that it can be a win-win situation. If we have more ICT users then we can pay more taxes, said Dr. Dorothy Okello of Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) about the high telecom taxes.

 

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