The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) is the regulatory body in Uganda for all telecommunications, media and broadcasting business. But in a strange twist, it appears MTN Uganda has taken over some of the regulator’s roles.
Last Tuesday, MTN Uganda in a breach of fair play rules switched off connection with their rivals-in-the-market, Africell for reasons we are yet to fully ascertain.
In a similar case of foul play, MTN Nigeria was last year fined 5 Billion USDs by Nigeria’s telecom regulator over breach of telecom rules of play like these.
From the look of this new twist by MTN, maybe it is time UCC jumped in early enough to stop the mess and protect customers who need communication to do business
This website picked rants from social media as desperate customers tried to question why they couldn’t connect from Africell to MTN numbers but MTN didn’t have a clear explanation. They only kept asking customers to contact Africell.
For a period stretching from Tuesday morning to s0me time into the evening hours, Africell customers couldn’t make calls to MTN numbers, leading to communication breakdown for a good number of Ugandans.
This move by MTN to its competition and other players is dangerous, as the customer gets to be the victim.
It means business and normal transactions couldn’t continue normally due to this ‘breakdown’.
One of the tweets directed to MTN by a distressed customer asking why he couldn’t connect to Africell, MTN responded asking the customer to contact Africell since the issue was on their side.
According to some subscribers, MTN must have been in a panic regarding the Don’t Be Cheated Campaign, in which Africell appears to thrust a jab at competitors MTN and Airtel.
The campaign asks customers not to be cheated and points at who is better, who is more affordable and who has the best products.
Also, insiders say MTN isn’t taking it too well with Africell for the no-charge mobile money offers the telecom is offering which has left MTN stranded with their hugely expensive money transfer services.
Africell seems to have taken it laying low and continue to offer their subscribers other ways to communicate as they drive them to register their SIM cards according to the UCC regulations.