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Ugandan Networks Seeker Tougher Penalties for Cable Theft

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Ugandan mobile networks are calling on the government to increase penalties imposed on people convicted of stealing telecoms infrastructure.

The move follows complaints by customers about poor quality of service, which the mobile networks put down, in part, to vandalism and theft from its base stations and backhaul networks.

MTN's Chief technical officer, Mr Rami Farah said persistent fiber damages put both the business and customer quality at risk.

He noted that "we have seen some areas for instance, experiencing a total blackout for both voice calls and data services if both the protection and working routes are damaged and as a result, the network has also suffered high congestion levels due to a lack of coverage resulting in very poor call experience and dropped calls."

Over the past year, MTN says has recorded more than 200 incidents of infrastructure vandalism largely attributed to the theft of fiber cables by individuals and activities of road construction.

The other networks also report similar problems and are joining the calls for tougher sanctions on cable theft.

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Tags: mtn  Uganda