Nyombi Thembo; The UCC Executive Director

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has responded to public outcry over unexplained data depletion, promising to investigate concerns further while also tasking telecom operators and internet service providers with ensuring transparency and user awareness.
At a recent meeting with users and service providers, Mr. George William Nyombi Thembo, the UCC Executive Director, acknowledged the growing frustration among mobile phone users and emphasized the commission’s commitment to protecting consumer rights while facilitating industry growth.
Mr. Thembo highlighted consumers’ rights to access quality services, privacy, transparent terms and conditions, clear billing, complaint resolution, competitive offers, product safety, truth in advertising, and consumer education. He stressed that service providers must clearly communicate terms and conditions to customers upfront and promptly address grievances.
To empower consumers, he noted that the commission is developing mechanisms for self-monitoring data consumption trends, aiming to reduce complaints about data inconsistencies.
“The commission is developing mechanisms to enable consumers to self-monitor their data consumption trends, which we believe will reduce the number of complaints about data inconsistencies. The commission is assessing various tools and will select one that will put the monitoring of data usage and quality in the hands of consumers,” he said.
Mr. Thembo emphasized that telecom companies should increase their involvement in sensitization campaigns to bridge the information gap regarding data depletion. A tech enthusiast himself, he also offered advice to users, urging them to refrain from opening unnecessary windows and running numerous applications simultaneously, which he suggested could contribute to reducing data depletion.
The issue of rapid data depletion has sparked a national conversation in Uganda. In February, an online citizen initiative named #DataTheftExhibition was launched to highlight concerns surrounding data usage. During this campaign, social media platforms were flooded with complaints from users regarding the rapid depletion of their data before fulfilling its intended purpose, with telecom companies bearing the brunt of the blame.