UCC has concluded a review of wholesale Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) and SMS markets in Uganda. This is in line with the Commission’s ethos of consultation-based regulatory reforms across various communications markets.

The Study focused on the provision of wholesale USSD and SMS access services by mobile network operators (MNO’s) to third-party mobile financial service providers and other VAS providers. The focus was on, how current commercial, legal and regulatory policies and practices are relating to the SMS and USSD channels, and how they affect the development of mobile financial services in Uganda.

The review was premised on the increasing role of USSD and SMS services in key services like Mobile Money and related financial services. The exploratory review on key commercial bottlenecks in these markets and subsequent recommendations shall form the cornerstone of a number of regulatory amendments including;

  • Guidance on wholesale USSD/SMS contracting between aggregators and MNO’s.
  • Shortcode Number Allocation Procedures.
  • Quality of service/experience in USSD and SMS services.
  • Competition enforcement and market regulation in USSD and SMS Services.

Draft findings and recommendations of this review were presented to a cross-section of ecosystem stakeholders including; banks, aggregators, Mobile Network Operators and Development partners in a consultative forum this week at the Commission.

These findings are now available on the UCC website and can be accessed by following the link: http://www.ucc.co.ug/data/smenu/118/Public-Consultation-Version-of-the-USSD-and-SMS-Market-Review-report.html

Members of the public are invited to review the report and submit comments to the address below by 12th January 2018.

Comments may be sent to ucc@ucc.co.ug or any of their social media channels.