By Omondi Julius Odera, Kampala, Uganda
MTN Uganda has finally toed the line of Uganda’s telco industry regulator by adopting the recommended codes for loading and checking balances on mobile phones in Uganda.
The directive, which was issued late last year, demanded that all mobile telcos in the country adopt a uniform code system for both loading airtime and checking balances. According to the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), the new directive was to help harmonize the sector operations and ultimately improve user experience of subscribers.
With over nine telco operators currently in Uganda, it’s worth noting that many subscribers may be left in confusion if each telco uses different codes for such operations like balance checks and airtime loading.
Shortly after the issuance of the directive last year, Africell which was formerly Orange, Uganda Telecom and Airtel sent out text messages notifying their subscribers of the changes. MTN Uganda has now chosen to implement the directive with effect from 1st March, which was also the deadline day set by UCC.
In line with regulatory requirements, MTN has changed the codes for loading Airtime from *155* to *130* and checking airtime balance from *156# to *131#, read part of an advert carried on both its website and in the dailies.
According to MTN Chief Marketing Officer Mapula Bodibe, these changes will ensure that we continue driving a positive customer experience. The implementation means that the codes that MTN has been using since its inception in 1998 now change to the new ones, however the old codes will still be working alongside the new ones until we can ensure that all our customers have adopted to the new codes.
The recent entry in Uganda’s Telco market increased the telco operators to nine including MTN, Airtel, Uganda Telecom, Orange, K2, Smart and Smile.