It was a busy week for Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) with the regulator shinning on the international scene.
Uganda was nominated to the Advisory committee of the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO) and on the Panel of legal Experts.
This was at the 38th ITSO Assembly of Parties in Washington D.C.
UCC Executive Director Godfrey Mutabazi and Director of the Rural Communications Development Fund (RCDF), Nyombi Tembo graced the function.
Mutabazi says widespread access to information and communication technologies (ICTs), especially broadband, is necessary for sustainable development.
Consequently ICTs have been recognized as integral to the achievement of the UN’s SDGs.
However, more than half of the world’s population remains unconnected as of today and as such cannot take advantage of the availability of various vital services.
The 2018 ITSO Symposium sought to demonstrate how satellite technology plays a key role in universalizing broadband coverage and broadens the conversation on how to achieve our common goals through ICTs.
Uganda’s National Broadband strategy target is 100 percent connectivity for Urban and 50 percent connectivity for rural by 2020.
Nyombi said broadband for Uganda “means robust connectivity that’s affordable, always on and delivers a minimum of 3Mbps.”
About 19 percent of Uganda’s population don’t have access to basic telephony either due to lack of connectivity or because they can’t afford it 73 percent of the Population don’t have access to broadband due to lack of connectivity or due to cost (Handsets and Subscription)
However, a pilot project by ITSO, UCC, Intelsat and Gilat has since been rolled out with the aim of providing broadband connectivity to two remote locations in Uganda on a pilot basis and as a proof of concept on the use of satellite technology.
Uganda hopes to achieve 95 percent of the population covered by the voice network and 100% Fm radio coverage in the country.
“We’re approaching the 75 percent mark for 3G coverage,” said Nyombi.
At the same function, the Communications regulator UCC was named Best predictable regulator in Africa with many operators interested in investing in the Communications sector in Uganda.
Meanwhile, the ICT Essay writing competition for both Primary and Secondary schools attracted 1000s of entries.
UCC also participated in the regional UMA trade fair with thousands visiting the stall to access direct commission activities.
The regulator also concluded the regional broadcasting forums in Masindi and Jinja ahead of the much-anticipated national broadcasting forum slated for June 28.
UCC further said it continues to audit all telecoms to verify compliance against SIM card registration, replacement, swaps and upgrades.