Telecommunications firm MTN Uganda on Friday signed its license renewal agreement to operate in Uganda for the next twelve years.
Uganda Communications Commission signed on government’s behalf. UCC Executive Director Irene Sewankambo signed on Uganda’s behalf.
MTN says it has fully paid USD 100m (371.5billion shillings) as license fees for the next twelve years, which started on July 1, 2020.
In a statement, MTN Uganda said “This brings to an end the long-standing negotiations between MTN Uganda, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and the government. This license renewal comes almost 2 years later since MTN Uganda applied for a license renewal following the expiry of their 20-year license in October 2018”.
There was an attempt to renew at the cost half of what the company has paid. The fee was rejected by President Yoweri Museveni with sources saying the head of state said MTN was making a lot of money from Uganda and the fee was too small.
Another condition for MTN Uganda to have its license renewed was that it must list at least 20% of its shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) for Ugandans to own shares in the company. We have been told that the company promised to get this done in the course of the 12 years. It is not clear when exactly.
MTN Uganda boss Wim Vanhelleputte said they would continue to provide voice, data and mobile money services across Uganda.