MTN renews Uganda operating licence after two-year negotiation

MTN, Africa’s biggest mobile operator by subscribers, has finalised a deal that will see it carry on its operations in Uganda for another 12 years.

On Saturday, MTN Uganda said it was “pleased to announce the conclusion of negotiations for the renewal of its second national operator licence which expired in October 2018”.

MTN said it had met all conditions, including the payment of $100m (R1.7billion) as a renewal fee for a period of 12 years starting July 1, 2020.

Negotiations for the renewal have been going on for close to two years with Uganda authorities. The mobile operator was allowed to operate in the East African country for 20 years back in April 1998.

Ugandan authorities have previously said that MTN had agreed to list its shares on Uganda’s local bourse as a condition of renewing its licence. MTN Uganda is the country’s biggest telecom company with over 10-million subscribers, competing with a local unit of India’s Bharti Airtel, as well as smaller companies.

MTN said it will conclude the signing of the agreement with UCC in the next few days.

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