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MTN Uganda Receives its Second National Telecommunication Operator Licence

MTN Uganda paid record fee; USD$100 million for their Second National Telecommunication Operator Licence renewal, bringing an end to negotiations that lasted almost 2 years.

On June 13th, 2020 when the MTN Uganda announced they had their 12-Year License Renewal after Protracted Negotiations and in a statement said that together with the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC), they wound conclude the signature of the License Agreement within the coming days.

Three weeks since the announcement, the telecommunication operator has this afternoon received their ‘Second National Telecommunication Operator Licence’ from the Commission. The licence was received and officially signed by MTN Uganda CEO, Mr. Wim Vanhellputte which was later handed to him by UCC’s Executive Director; Ms. Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo.

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“I am glad to inform you that our second National Operator License has been signed and MTN can continue operating in Uganda. We are happy and remain committed to our vision of delivering a bold digital life to all our customers through diligent innovations and shall continue to provide high quality voice, data and mobile money services connecting Ugandans across all the 135 districts of Uganda,” said Mr. Wim.

The License had expired on 21st October 2018 but was variously extended to accommodate [the] conclusion of renewal negotiations which have been ongoing for close to 2 years.

MTN initially objected to the terms of the license renewal, as set by the government, and the renewal process, took more than one year including the highest decision-making organs in the company and the country, with MTN Group CEO; Mr. Rob Shutter meeting Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni at least twice in 2019.

Uganda had initially insisted on MTN listing 20% shares on the local Stock Exchange as part of the license renewal requirement. It is not immediately clear whether this requirement has been dropped or suspended.

The telco’s Second National Operator (SNO) License that took effect on 1st July 2020 was secured at a fixed fee of USD$100 million (Approximately UGX371.5 Billion) paid in full for 12 years.

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