Kampala. Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has said telephone users will, by 2019, have fulltime telecommunications network coverage under the new National Roaming Services plan.
Speaking in an interview, Mr Godfrey Mutabazi, the UCC executive director, told Daily Monitor that telephone users will have coverage even in areas where their service providers have no network.
“We shall have national roaming, such that [users] have network, even in the absence of coverage,” he said.
According to Mr Mutabazi, national roaming will enable people to have 24-hour access to telephone networks.
National roaming, he said, will allow one to be hosted on another telecom’s network in areas where a particular telecom has no coverage.
For instance, he added, telephone access, especially in rural areas, will no longer be a monopoly of a particular network provider.
“Even if you have Simcard A and move to an area where it has no network, the Simcard will pick network from another telecom,” he said.
Asked if roaming would imply a higher charge for customers, Mr Mutabazi, said that although there could be a cost implication, national roaming is necessary since it will allow 24-hour telephone access.
The new licensing regime, according to Mr Mutabazi, will require all telecoms to have coverage in all parishes in the country with a base minimum of 3G access.
“In the next six to 12 months, all telecoms will [have upgraded to] 4G access. We shall have national roaming and deploy more base stations in each parish. With the new [licensing regime], each parish should at least have a minimum is 3G access,” he said.
However, Ms Sumin Namaganda, the Airtel communications manager, said they were yet to be furnished with details of the new requirements. We could not get comments from other telecoms by press time.