By Jolly Gwari and Agencies
Uganda Communication Commission (the Commission) was established under section 4 of the Uganda Communications Act 2013 (the Act) as the regulator of the Communications sector in Uganda mandate to among others monitor, inspect, license, supervise, control, promote and safeguard interests of consumers and providers of communications services in Uganda.
American Towers Corporation (ATC) Uganda Limited and Eaton Uganda Limited were granted Public infrastructure provider (PIP) licenses by the Commission on 22nd August 2015 and 17th April 2012 respectively to provide infrastructure services in Uganda. The PIP licenses are for a period of 15 years.
In accordance with section 42 (2) of the Act, Eaton Towers Uganda ltd applied to the commission for consent to transfer its license to ATC Heston BV Netherlands in accordance with section 42 (3) of the Act.
ATC Heston BV Netherland is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AT Netherlands Cooperatief which holds a majority interest in ATC Uganda Limited. Should the application for transfer of license from Eaton Uganda Limited to ATC Heston BV be approved by the Commission, there will be a merger of interest, ownership, and operations between ATC Uganda limited and Eaton Towers Uganda limited.
More so, if approved, the proposed transactions will render ATC Uganda Limited a dominant provider of passive infrastructure services in the Telecommunications sector in Uganda.
In accordance with section 38(2) (d) of the Act and Regulation 7(2) (d) of the Telecommunications(licensing)Regulations SI No.20 of 2005, the Commission is required to consider the public interest before determining whether or not grant an application for grant/merger of license.