By Watchdog reporter

Uganda’s biggest telecommunication company MTN has protested government’s directive to give telephony, data deals to only UTL.

On 14 September, 2017, the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development issued a directive to all Accounting officers restricting the provision of all mobile and fixed telephony communication and internet services to only the government owned telecom company (UTL).

According to a statement addressed to Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) ON 20 September, 2017, MTN Chief Executive Officer Wim Vanhelleputte the directive does not only undermines the operational regime of a vibrant, dynamic and fully liberalized sector but also promotes anti competitive behavior by ring fencing a major sector of the economy for one operator to the prejudice of other licensed operators.

Vanhelleputte also stated that the directive is in contravention of section 52 of Uganda Communications Act of 2013 and section 46 of the PPDA Act of 2003 which promotes competition.

He further requested for a meeting with UCC to discuss the impact of the directive on the business and the sector at large.

The latest directive follows an earlier one issued in 2013 compelling all government ministries , departments and agencies to only procure internet through the National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure currently managed by Soliton Telmec.