The Independent (Kampala)

2 December 2012

Uganda: Minister Urges Mobile Phone Suppliers

The junior minister for information and communication technologies, Nyombi Thembo has urged the mobile phone suppliers/companies to find a way of disciplining those companies that forge their genuine products and sell them to consumers.

Thembo was speaking as the chief guest at a dinner organised by Samsung at Serena Hotel on Nov. 30. "In the near future 65% of our Ugandan people will be able to own and access a mobile phone, a reason why we have to protect them," he said, adding ICT is the fastest growing sector in Uganda and in the world.

The government of Uganda through the Uganda Communications Commission is planning next year to switch off all fake mobile phones in a bid to protect the users from losing their money to substandard gadgets.

"We will not de-activate the already active sim-cards being used in counterfeit devices because we are still in discussions with industry players on the way forward. But no new one will be activated," Geodfrey Mutabazi, the UCC's executive director said recently.

A counterfeit phone is one whose International Mobile Equivalent Identity (IMEI) - serial number signature imprinted on the inside of the device's battery compartment - is a fake and cannot be recognised on data bases of genuine mobile phone manufacturers.

Other countries in the East African region like Kenya have already implemented the program.

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