UCC Launches Campaign Against Illegitimate Mobile Communication Devices

  • by Rodney Mponye
  • August 2, 2022

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has officially launched the Anti-Illegitimate Mobile Communication Devices Campaign in Uganda.The campaign seeks to draw public attention to and discourage the use of such devices.

Under Section 5(k) of the Uganda Communications Act 2013, the Uganda Communications Commission is mandated to promote and safeguard the interests of consumers and operators regarding the quality of communications services and equipment.  Section 5 (1) of the Act also tasks UCC to set national standards and ensure compliance with national & international standards and obligations laid down by international communications agreements and treaties to which it is a party. These include Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC), Radio Frequency (RF) requirements, Equipment Safety and Health Requirements Technology, and Performance and Functionality Requirements.

Today, UCC is joining the rest of the world to fight against the use of substandard communication devices. The campaign is dubbed as “SIMU KLEAR”

Since February 200, the Commission has successfully implemented a concerted stakeholder engagement process entailing engagements with public sector, sister agencies and regulators, policy makers, industry actors and the media, among others. Today, we officially launch the 2nd phase of the “SIMU KLEAR” campaign focusing on the call-to-action for customers through the launch of code 197.

The Anti-Illegitimate Communications Devices Campaign “SIMU KLEAR” is aimed at sensitising the public about the dangers of using illegitimate mobile communications devices which, in most cases, lower the quality of service on communication devices which, in most cases, lowers the quality of service on communication networks thus affecting the experience of consumers and businesses. When you buy any device, you want it to deliver the performance, functionality and safety expected of devices in that family. This is the purpose of standards. Illegitimate Mobile Communications devices compromise on those standards in favour of returns, impacting value proposition and safety.

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

For one to check whether their phone is legitimate or not, Dial *197*4# and the IMEI will automatically be displayed 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# to know your mobile phone IMEI.

It is estimated that over 180m counterfeit mobile phones are sold globally per annum and this represents a potential loss of €45bn to legitimate device manufacturers and governments.

The Campaign will run for a period of over 6 months to build public awareness about the dangers of using illegitimate mobile communication devices.