26 February 2013

Uganda: UCC Warns Public Over Telecom Firm

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has warned Ugandans over an unlicensed telecommunication company operating in Kampala.

The commission said Global Mobile Telecommunications Network Limited, with an office on Shumuk House, "is not recognised" and not licensed to provide communication services within Uganda.

Global Mobile Network is a telecommunications company that asks individuals to pay $39 (sh104,325) for registration to be able to join their business of selling phones, airtime and Sim cards.

The warning comes in the wake of the increasing number of people joining the business to make quick money.

UCC, which regulates telecommunications services, in an advertisement yesterday warned that providing or operating a telecommunications system or service without a licence issued by the commission is an offence.

The manager of communication and consumer affairs, Fred Otunnu, warned the public saying: "If they do so, they will be doing it at their own risk."

When contacted yesterday, an official at Global Mobile Network admitted that the company was not yet registered.

"We are in the process of registering the company. We had a few challenges, but when we are through, we shall definitely register. We are still operating and have a meeting and a presentation tomorrow (Tuesday) to clarify all that negative publicity about us. Come and attend," said the official.

When New Vision visited the offices last week, an employee of the company explained that to join the company, one has to provide his personal details and of the person who has introduced them.

On February 11, a man, who introduced himself as Hans Muramira, took the over 60 potential customers through the process of becoming a member. "I have been part of GMN for the past eight weeks and I can assure you, your life is not going to be the same again," he said.

Muramira said the company is the first international telecommunication company in Uganda to offer services where one can use the same phone line even when abroad at the same rates used in Uganda.

He said the company's headquarters is in New York (US).

"This is not a briefcase company. We have other branches in over 100 countries, but Tunisia and Uganda are the first countries to embrace GMN in Africa," he said.

The registration is at three different levels of partnership - affiliate (one pays $39), pro-affiliate $289 (about 773,075) and master affiliate $975 (about sh2,608,125).

After registration, a successful individual gets a profile, which they call a website. Using your profile, a member can reportedly monitor the products. The company gives products which a member is supposed to sell in order to accumulate volume points.

An affiliate member reportedly earns a commission of $15 (sh40,125) if he or she attracts a new customer to the network. A pro-affiliate gets a bonus of $20 (sh53,500) and a master affiliate enjoys the biggest commission, which is $60 (sh160,500).

The more people a member attracts to his or her network and the more products one sells, the more they gain.

But after paying for any of the three packages, a member has to pay another $79 (sh211,325) to buy a phone or a Sim card and then become a direct dealer of the company and also acquire company products directly.

Whoever has more information to this can send it to spotlight@newvision.co.ug

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