UCC investigates Airtel over deceptive 4G network

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Kampala, Uganda

The telecom regulator Uganda Communications Commission is investigating Airtel Uganda over claims that its 4G network is deceptive.

UCC yesterday wrote to Airtel Uganda Limited, directing the telecommunications company to avail the Commission with technical evidence on the capacity of its 4G network across the country.

Members of the public have lodged several complaints with UCC regarding the 4G network that Airtel claims to be providing. The complainants are not satisfied with subpar quality and internet speeds on Airtel’s countrywide 4G network.

According to a statement posted on UCC’s blog, the complaints allege that Airtel Uganda Ltd is misrepresenting to the public that it is providing a countrywide 4G network service across the country, whereas not.

Following preliminary investigations conducted in the sampled towns of Kampala, Mukono, Entebbe and Jinja to establish the level of coverage and download throughput of Airtel’s 4G network, UCC found that whereas Airtel’s LTE signal was available in over 90% of the areas sampled, the network speeds were much lower than what is internationally expected for a countrywide 4G network service.

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.

 Show cause why regulatory sanction(s) should not be instituted against Airtel Uganda Limited for misrepresenting to its customers and the general public about its network quality and speeds.

Airtel Uganda Limited is required to submit the requisite evidence and representations within fourteen (14) days. We are yet to get Airtel’s response on this matter to prove to UCC if they comply.

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