At last there is hope that we may be able to get rid of those pseudo-multipurpose noisy fake phones that several Ugandans move around with. This comes after Ibrahim K. Bbossa, the manager Consumer Affairs at UCC in an interview with media last week; said that before this year ends, the Uganda Communications Centralized Identity Equipment Regulation that looks to block all fake, unauthentic phones will be approved by parliament and all fake phones on the market and those already in use will all be blocked.
“Like it was reported in the media at the beginning of this year, we have acquired the centralized Equipment identity registry system (CEIRS) and we are only waiting for the regulation which is already with the Minister to be approved by parliament so that we can start on the process of phasing out all fake phones,” he said.
Bbossa said that UCC has already embarked on a countrywide sensitization of all phone users on how to identify a fake phone from an original phone so that once the regulation is effected, there will be no excuses.
“UCC has put in place a system on how you can identify a fake phone. Either, one can visit our website and insert their IMEI (international man equipment identity) commonly known as the serial number which is unique to each phone in our system and we will be able to tell you whether your phone is original or not. Those who cannot access internet can send their IMEI to 8883,” Bbossa said.
According to a research that was done in 2014-2015 by knowledge Consultants, 40 per cent of phones of all phones on the Ugandan market are fake and this percentage is expected to be higher today, which is hazardous to users in terms of health and the economic impact.
“Apart from the negative impact on the health of the users, fake phones are also note durable. Findings from research show that fake phones have a short life span of 6months to 1 and a half years. Also those fake phones are the reason for poor service network,” Bbossa said.
“Once the regulation is passed, all members of the public who will be affected will be sent a notice about the status of their phones so that they are able to withdraw their mobile money and airtime or buy a new phone in time. We therefore appeal to all Ugandans to desist from being consumers of fake items because they are in the long run more expensive,” he added.
Bbossa was speaking shortly after a media engagement breakfast hosted by the Anti-African counterfeit network (ACN) at Protea hotel, Kampala where he made a presentation on what UCC is doing to block counterfeit goods and how counterfeit goods have affected the Ugandan market.