The State minister of Finance in-charge of Planning, Mr David Bahati, has asked telecommunication companies to work with Uganda Communications Commission to end cross-border cellular network interference.
Mr Bahati was speaking at the launch of the two Airtel Uganda network masts constructed among communities near Uganda and Rwanda border in Kabale District on Tuesday.
“I approached Airtel Uganda for the construction of masts in these places because there was a telecommunication crisis. I appeal to the telecommunication companies to resolve the problem of network interference across the border,” Mr Bahati said.
Ugandans at the border with Rwanda have previously been dialling the Rwanda country code to be able to call their relatives in Uganda, which they find expensive.
The Airtel masts were constructed at Katojo Village in Butanda Sub-county and Bukora in Kitumba Sub-county.
Ms Juliet Grace Luwedde, the Airtel Uganda junior accounts executive director, said the investment is valued at Shs1b and about 4,000 people are expected to benefit.
Ms Kate Kemigasha, a resident of Katoojo Village, Butanda Sub-county, said mobile telecommunication has been expensive.
Mr Bahati pledged free internet connection to Rubaya Secondary School where he donated 45 computers.
He said the donation aims at improving information communication technology among the students, teachers and community members.
“I appeal to the people in this area to use the availed mobile network to fight crime by making calls to the security about criminal acts, connect to health centres’ administration to help patients at critical condition and to market agricultural produce, ” Mr Bahati added.
The managing director of Airtel Uganda, Mr V G Somasekhar, said the launch was aimed at extending excellent telecommunication services to the people.
He said the company had set up more than 1,632 sites and laid more than 3,900 kilometres of optic fibre across Uganda, covering about 95.9 per cent of the population.
“With connectivity, benefiting communities will be able to improve their lives through trade, education and commerce and enjoy Airtel Uganda’s reliable network that offers services such as video conferencing, video calling and video streaming, among others at affordable rates,” Mr Somasekhar said.