Brought to you as a public service of the Open Spectrum Foundation (Stichting Open Spectrum), Amsterdam - Prague
"COMMENCEMENT OF NEW LICENSING REGIME," UCC announcement, 1 August 2006: "The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) hereby informs the general public that... a new Licensing Regime was adopted and becomes effective from August 14, 2006..." Internet access is covered by the Public Service Provider Licence, while the Capacity Provider License is for "Licensees already permitted to install infrastructure... such as existing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) with wireless networks... [and new] entrants in the Internet Access market operating their networks using ISM bands, e.g., 2.4GHz and 5.7GHz band..." Under the old regime, private wireless networks - including those inside homes - were licensed, and they will continue to be licensed under the new regime: they now need a General Authorization Licence, according to "The Proposed Licensing Regime" by Simon Bugaba, powerpoint presentation at the Stakeholders Workshop on New Telecom Policy Guidelines, in Kampala, 7 July 2006.
Licensing in the Era of Liberalization and Convergence: The Case Study of the Republic of Uganda by Simon Moshiro, ITU, December 2004 (24 pages). The Communications Act of 1997 authorized Uganda's Communications Commission "to establish classes of licences and, by regulations, to exempt services from licensing... UCC used to license the 2.4 GHz Special Wireless Spectrum for commercial use. It was used mainly by ISPs for providing wireless access to their customers. In order to encourage the use of WiFi technology to promote the use of Internet services in rural and other under-served areas UCC has deregulated the use of this spectrum for the commercial provision of services... [In] deregulating the 2.4 GHz spectrum UCC has also waived the annual licence fee of US$2,000..."
But Article 9 paragraph (13) of "The Communications (Radio) Regulations, 2003" seems to forbid unlicensed transmissions: "The actual operation of all radio frequency devices or apparatus at any radio station shall be authorised by the radio spectrum licence and any communication at such station shall be in accordance and under a radio spectrum licence issued in respect of the specified station and equipment."
"Give Up the Broadcast Licence," by Wanyama Wangah, New Vision, (Kampala) 8 September 2005 (via All Africa): the government is proposing to charge TV viewers a "licence fee" to support the state broadcaster.
Uganda Telecommunications Sector Review (2003) by F. F. Tusubira, Irene Kaggwa and Fred Mukholi (Makerere University Directorate for ICT Support) says there is "still very limited competition" among infrastructure providers or from competing technologies "like wi-fi."
"The lack of enforcement has in practice been a problem in some countries, where bands are said to be saturated because users exceed the allowable power levels. According to the survey, this is the case in Cameroon, Angola and Uganda..." ---from "License-Exempt Wireless Policy: Results of an African Survey" by Isabel Neto, Michael Best and Sharon Gillett, paper presented at ITS 2004.
"The UCC proposes to issue an installation permit for any wireless equipment that will be used in these bands. It is therefore illegal to install and operate the wireless equipment in these bands without permission... Although few developed countries where these devices have been deployed require permits... for indoor use UCC shall issue a Low Power Class License to cover operation of these systems. With regard to outdoor point-to-point to and point-to-multipoint usage of Wireless Access Systems, UCC will also require that the use of these equipment be registered and licensed for purposes of protecting sensitive incumbent services or national assets and/or just in case of potential coordination issues... The main purpose of the licensing of these low power wireless devices is to initially establish the pattern of use of these devices for a certain period of time, following which period, the licensing of these devices will be reviewed."
"Utl Brings Wireless Internet Service," by Alice Kiingi, New Vision, (Kampala), 5 July 2005: "Uganda Telecom (utl) has introduced a high-speed wireless Internet service. The service, the first of its kind in Uganda, enables clients easily access Internet using mobile devices like laptops and PDAs (hand-held devices), Miriam Wanjohi, the brand manager of utl, said in a statement recently.
The statement said utl is running a free trial promotion for the service until August 1. The access points, called hotspots, are locations where a person with a laptop or PDA accesses the Internet while moving and pays with a serialised coupon. Some of the 18 hotspots are Entebbe Airport, Mateos Restaurant, Rwenzori Courts, International Hospital, Faze2 Restaurant, Uganda Golf Club, Workers House and Crested Towers..."