Uganda: UCC launches campaign against illegitimate communication devices

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Kampala, Uganda – The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) officially launched the campaign against illegitimate mobile communication devices in Uganda on August 2. The campaign aims to attract public attention and discourage the use of such devices.

Under Section 5(k) of the Uganda Communications Act 2013, the Uganda Communications Commission is responsible for promoting and protecting the interests of consumers and operators with respect to the quality of communications services and equipment.

Section 5(1) of the Act also mandates the UCC to establish national standards and ensure compliance with national and international standards and obligations established by international communications agreements and treaties to which it is a party. These include electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), radio frequency (RF) requirements, equipment health and safety requirements, technology, and performance and functionality requirements.

UCC joins the rest of the world in combating the use of substandard communication devices. The campaign is called “SIMU KLEAR”

Since February 2022, the Commission has successfully implemented a concerted stakeholder engagement process involving engagements with the public sector, sister agencies and regulators, policy makers, industry players and the media, among others. Today, we officially launch the 2nd phase of the “SIMU KLEAR” campaign focused on the call to action for customers through the launch of code 197.

The campaign against illegitimate communication devices “SIMU KLEAR” aimed to raise public awareness about the dangers of using illegitimate mobile communication devices which, in most cases, reduce the quality of service on the communication devices, affecting thus the experience of consumers and businesses.

“When you buy a device, you want it to deliver the performance, functionality and security expected of devices in this family. That’s what the standards are for. Illegitimate mobile communications devices compromise these standards in favor of returns, which impacts the value proposition and security,” said Fred Otunnu, Corporate Affairs Manager at the Uganda Communications Commission.

“Each legitimate mobile phone has a unique identifier that registers it with a network of operators. This number is called the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. The IMEI number can be used to verify the legitimacy of a phone,”

To check if his phone is legit or not, dial *197*4# and the IMEI will automatically show on the phone screen. Alternatively, the IMEI number can be found on the body of the mobile phone, usually under the battery. You can also *#06# know the IMEI of your mobile phone.

It is estimated that more than 180 million counterfeit mobile phones are sold worldwide every year, representing a potential loss of 45 billion euros for legitimate device manufacturers and governments.

The campaign will run for more than 6 months to raise awareness about the dangers of using illegitimate mobile communication devices.

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