By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has today July 22 summoned Airtel Uganda Limited to defend itself over allegations of frauding its customers with a 4G internet service.
Airtel Uganda for months had been claiming to provide a 4G (fourth Generation) broadband cellular broadband network which among others have capabilities to offer a maximum real-world download speeds up 60Mbps, making it over 20 times faster than 3G.
According to UCC investigations across the country towns and customers complaints, the commission came out to notice that Airtel claims weren’t accurate and true.
“Following primarily investigations conducted in the towns of Kampala, Jinja, Mukono, Entebbe and Jinja to establish the level of coverage and download throughput of Airtel’s 4G network the commission found out whereas Airtel’s LTE signal was available in over 90% of the areas sampled the networks speed are much lower than what is internationally expected for a 4G internet service,” reads part of the statement.
According to UCC, “Airtel Uganda Limited in less than Fourteen (14) days has to “Show cause why regulatory sanctions should not be instituted against the telecom for misrepresenting to its customers and the general public about its network quality and speeds.
Consequently, in accordance with sections 45 and 48 of the Uganda Communications Act 2013 and Regulation 28 of the Communications (Practice and Procedure) Regulations 2005, Airtel Uganda Limited has been by UCC asked to:
Furnish the Commission with technical evidence to prove that it provides the claimed 100% 4G network service across Uganda in terms of performance and geographical coverage.
However, when we talked to the Telecom Spokesperson Mrs Faith Bugonzi said, she wasn’t aware of the summons though promised to reach the press if there is any developments.
History of the Airtel Telecom Limited in Uganda
Airtel Uganda was launched in Uganda in June 2010
CELTEL Uganda was the first Telecommunication Company in Uganda that was introduced in 1995 and transformed telephony by connecting people with the use of a mobile phone.
In July 2007, CELTEL Uganda changed its brand name to ZAIN Uganda that was eventually changed to Airtel Uganda in 2010 thus joining a family of over 361 million customers across its operations at the end of May 2016.
In May 2013, Airtel Uganda achieved a great success story having acquired Warid Telecom and growing to a family of over 8.9 Million customers and being the 2nd largest telecom in Uganda.