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Illegitimate Communication Devices -

  • One that is not produced by the original manufacturer (usually have a duplicate or tampered IMEI – International Mobile Equipment Identifier)
  • No- Type Approved by UCC
  • Counterfeit

Every genuine mobile phone has a serial number to register it to a network known as an International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number.

This 15-digit number is assigned to each mobile device manufactured in accordance with internationally agreed safety and quality requirements.

The IMEI can be used to verify the legitimacy of a phone as illegitimate models won’t have an IMEI number (or they use a fake one).

To know your device IMEI dial *#06# and the IMEI will automatically be displayed. The phone does not need a SIM card to be able to do this.

In line with its mandate, and in line with global practice, UCC initiated the Illegitimate Communication Devices project.

Project aims to eliminate the usage of illegitimate devices (phones etc.).

Part of this project process is to educate the public about the dangers of illegitimate devices and benefits of compliant devices.

……Hence the SIMU KLEAR Campaign

Which also gets you to:

Know your phone; Know what you are purchasing; Know where you are purchasing the devise from; and requires you Always obtain receipt after purchasing a device.


For your current device

  • Dial *197*4# you will get a confirmation message.

Before purchase

  • Know your intended phone: it is important to do some research before buying a new phone. Before committing to a purchase, know the phone’s specific model number, and the features of the product.
  • Consider buying a phone from a registered or trusted retailer who can verify the authenticity of their products.

Verify IMEI code.

  • You can also verify your phone by dialling *#06#, you will be given a 15-digit code. Feed the code on our portal click verify IMEI on the portal that is live on our website.
  • The system will provide you with the name of the manufacturer and the model of the phone that the IMEI is supposed to belong to. If these details are different from the phone you have, then there is cause for concern.
  • Health hazard – Fake devices are neither tested nor certified for safety and could pose a danger to your health and safety.
  • Security risk – Fake devices usually come with duplicated IMEI’s which makes it difficult for regulators and law enforcement agencies to recover them or track down individuals who use them to facilitate crime.
  • Cybercrime – Fake devices could expose our accounts and other personal data to potential cybercrime and invasion of privacy.
  • Substandard quality – Having been made from substandard material and relying on pirated software, such devices lead to poor quality of telecommunications services.
  • Short lifespan – Fake devices do not last as long as genuine ones, which translates into financial loss and inconvenience.

These may be dropped at service centres of telecom operators.

We will not just switch off phones, and this will be a process. ~It started with Stake holder engagement ~To Sensitization of the public ~Then limiting access of now Illegitimate devices.

This campaign will extend to all the parts of the country and be translated in various local dialects across various physical, print, and electronic platforms.

As the regulator of the communications sector in Uganda, UCC is mandated to promote and safeguard the interests of consumers with regard to the quality and standard of communications services and equipment.

Yes, UCC is working with various public, private, civil society and other stakeholders.

For more details, visit your Service Provider, and may contact Uganda Communications Commission on:

  • Labelling: Check the labelling to ensure the brand name is spelt accurately. No manufacturer will make a mistake spelling its brand name on a product.
  • Model: Try to find out what the genuine phone of that model is supposed to look like or offer. This calls for doing some research on the phone you want to buy.  You need to know which colour the phone is supposed to be, its size, the features the phone should have, as well as the model in which it is available.  This kind of information can be obtained from the website of the manufacturer. 
  • Warranty: The common practice among genuine manufacturers is to offer a one year warranty for the phone, its accessories and software. If you are not being offered a warranty, think twice before making the payment.
  • Phone features: Unfortunately, the other way of telling a fake phone comes with use of the phone. If you find that some of the features the phone is supposed to have are absent or it is not operating as you were told or shown at point of sale, or the phone just stops working after a few days, be concerned and contact the person who sold you the phone.
  • If the price sounds too good, beware.

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