To be issued with a new licence, MTN Uganda will have to list at least 20 per cent of its shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange. This is in addition to paying $100 million in taxes. The two resolutions are the conclusion from the close to three-year tussle with the government, and finally securing the future of MTN operations in Uganda.
According to the East African, the telco has agreed to make the payment in two instalments of $50 million each, with the first payment expected this March and the second before the end of the financial year. This was reached at a meeting in the past week involving officials from the regulator Uganda Communications Commission, the Ministry of Finance and MTN executives.
MTN will also get a long term National Telecom Operator License for which it will be required to guarantee 100 per cent geographical coverage of the country with a minimum of 4mphs internet speeds in rural areas and 8Mphs in urban areas. This is the same case required of Airtel and UTL.
Other operators will have to settle for other licence categories under the new broadband policy.
The new UCC Licensing framework
The framework starts operations on June 30 and seeks to improve the quality of telecommunication services and boost investment in the sector for both existing and new telecoms operators. The licence categories are: National Telecom Operator License, National Public Service Provider, Regional Public Service Provider, National Public Infrastructure Provider and Regional Public Infrastructure Provider.
Fees for the National Telecom Operator licence is subject to negotiation along the annual minimum value, renewal or migration and fees computation.
The national public service provider licence holder will pay a minimum of $300,000 per annum and 1.23 per cent of prior total audited gross revenue for renewal or migration. The licence fee will be assessed on the “basis of total gross revenues of last year ended audited accounts, multiplied by licence tenure.”
The national public infrastructure provider licence holder will pay $300,000 in fees, liable to a licence value of 1.23 per cent of prior total audited gross revenue, offer 100 per cent geographical cover and 20 per cent local ownership on licensing or renewal for a period of 15 years.
The regional public service provider on the other hand will pay $50,000 in fees, liable to a licence value of 1.23 per cent of prior total audited gross revenue, offer coverage as per the licensed zone. The licence renewal will be based on the total gross revenue of last year ended audited accounts multiplied by licence tenure for a period of 15 years.