The Uganda Communications Commission will embark on an operation to de-link fake phones from connecting to the country’s existing mobile network, Godfrey Mutabazi, the executive director, has said.
The communications regulator said in a Sept.4 statement that the action to de-link fake mobile phones from connectivity is provided for under the Communications (Telecommunications and Radio Communications Equipment Type Approval) Regulations, 2005.
Uganda has in recent years become a dumping ground for counterfeit phones mainly from China, mainly driven by efforts by neighbouring countries like Kenya to announce stiff penalties for both owners and sellers of fake devices.
“Fake mobile phones that do not meet the stipulated international standard for products should not be imported into Uganda,” Mutabazi said, adding that the sudden influx of fake telecommunications devices in Uganda was a serious concern.
He advised Ugandan consumers to ensure that they buy only original mobile phones and to avoid being fooled by traders to buy a useless phone. However, some phone owners reasoned that the clampdown should first target importers and sellers of the mobile phones who dupe unsuspecting buyers into buying fake phones thinking that they are original Nokia, Iphone or Samsung phones.