Law on SMS and mobile money coming
Posted Friday, January 25 2013 at 02:00
Improving quality. The communications regulatory body says the law will protect mobile phone users.
The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has announced plans to introduce a law to regulate advertising using short text messaging services and mobile money business.
According to UCC, the law will be used to ‘restore sanity’ and improve the quality of services that mobile telephone companies have added onto their mobile platforms and have turned into a safe haven for fraudsters to fleece the unsuspecting public.
According to Mr Godfrey Mutabazi, the UCC executive director, the most common form of theft by the mobile telephone operators has been loss of mobile money, dropped telephone calls, free airtime promotions, SMS promotions where the public is asked to vote through certain codes, unsolicited messaging services where the public loses money by replying text messages to certain numbers as well as unexplained airtime deductions.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting to unveil this year’s annual communications innovation awards yesterday, Mr Mutabazi singled out Orange Telecom as the only mobile operator which has tried to stick to prudent business by protecting its customers.
He said UCC and Bank of Uganda are in advanced stages of coming up with a law on mobile commerce as well as make amendments to the 1997 Uganda Mobile Communications Act because it has been found to be lacking in the prosecution of fraudsters.
“We realised that the law in Uganda is very weak because this is a fairly new sector in our country but countries like Rwanda, Britain and Kenya have moved ahead of us because they are fairly advanced,” he said.
He added that much as the prices of internet have considerably dropped in the last two years, its quality has been compromised by such unprofessional activities by the telephone operators.
“I have often discouraged these people from free airtime promotions because it congests the network thereby affecting other users,” he said.