Uganda’s telecommunications regulator, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), has issued a statement criticising poor mobile services in the country, though it admitted a major cause of this was “vandalism”.
The statement follows a UCC survey into mobile services in eight large towns across the East African country conducted between July and October 2012, which found that performance trends for dropped and blocked call rates had fallen.
Subscribers in Kampala, Mukono and Gulu experienced the worst service quality, with MTN, Airtel, Warid, Uganda Telecommunications Limited (UTL) and Orange named as offenders. But the regulator did admit that some of the reasons for this were out of the operators’ control.
“MTN lost 543 hours across the country between July and October,” the statement said. “Of these, 183 hours were lost due to fiber cuts by unknown individuals while 132 hours of MTN service delivery were affected by road works.
“Airtel reported isolated incidents of network outages which included vandalism in Kalisizo. Consequently, 19 sites in the area surrounding Masaka town were affected. The operator also suffered a major outage in the eastern region due to maintenance of fiber optic cables by UETCL.”
The regulator called for tougher measures to combat vandalism if quality mobile services were to spread to rural areas.