Mobile phone operators in Uganda have reportedly locked horns with the country’s telecom sector regulator on the fate of airtime scratch cards that have to be phased out of circulation by 30 June 2018.
The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) wants all operators to begin selling airtime electronically post-deadline.
Operators have largely welcomed the move but want reassurance from the UCC that scratch cards still in stock after deadline will be allowed to clear.
MTN chief marketing officer Olivier Prentout, a number of telecom operators still had scratch cards which were in transit at the time of the ban in March this year.
The sale of both SIM and scratch cards was banned following a spate of crime that the UCC claimed was being perpetuated through the sale of unregistered SIM cards and open sale of airtime.
The ban has since been lifted after UCC said government had secured machines that will identify fake national identification cards that criminals were using to register SIM cards.
Two weeks ago, Airtel Uganda informed its agents that it was realigning commissions for online airtime dealers to match mobile money and e-airtime dealers.
The company said they are encouraging dealers to sell airtime through mobile money ahead of the deadline.
Company PRO Faith Bugonzi told the local Monitor newspaper that the operator was still in talks with the regulator and that there will be several meetings to check what they company still had in stock.
Despite meetings with UCC over the matter, operators have still not been told the way forward.
“The issue of what happens to scratch cards still in circulation after the deadline has not completely been addressed to date with the regulator. It is still under discussion but I presume they will give it some time to phase out,” said Prentout.
UCC has not responded to a media inquiry by ITWeb Africa over what will happen to the scratch cards still in stock post-deadline.