Counterfeit Phone Dealers Struggle To Dispose Off Stock

generic geneva;”>Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) set July 1, information pills 2013 as deadline for all counterfeit phones to be off market.

However, traders are requesting more time to clear their stock and get back what they had invested in the businesses.

According to UCC, a counterfeit phone is an imitation of a phone that is marketed and sold under the name of an authentic brand.

UCC insists counterfeit phones congest communication networks thereby affecting the quality of service to consumers.


The regulatory body is mandated to protect consumers, and as a government agency is partly charged with discouraging usage of counterfeit equipment.

The phones UCC says are counterfeit are cheap and and affordable to Ugandans.

“These phones attract customers since they have a torch, camera and a dual SIM Card provision which is not common among ‘original’ phones. Some of these phones have even got the same names like Nokia, Samsung yet in actual sense they are duplicates,” said a trader in Kikuubo, Kampala.

Lillian Katuhairwe a phone seller in Nakawa market accuses the Uganda National Bureau of Standards for allowing fake phones to be exported to the country which she calls a “burden” to Ugandans.

She adds: “If UCC goes ahead with the disconnection of these phones, they are likely to lose customers since people prefer cheap phones to expensive ones.”

Other people complain that they do not know how to check whether a phone is a counterfeit or not. Jonah Buwembo, a vendor in Kampala added that he fears to buy a phone because he cannot distinguish a fake phone from an original one.

According to UCC, there are immediately visible differences between a counterfeit phone and a genuine phone.

Some of the differences are: the logos of the manufacturer may be temporary and can therefore be rubbed off; the name of the phone may be misspelt, the phone may be extremely light in weight; the colour of the phone may not be among the colours that were produced by the manufacturer for that model of mobile phone.

Counterfeit phones also have features that are not in line with those listed for that particular model on the manufacturer’s website e.g. a blackberry dual SIM phone.

The counterfeit phone may over heat as you speak or even explode as you charge; and the reception may not be clear.

UCC maintains counterfeit phones must be kicked out of the market as they are associated with poor voice calls, risk of excessive emission of radiation that may affect human health, risk of injury from heat and possible explosions and limited services due to pirated

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