UCC (Uganda Communications Commission) plans to cut off counterfeit phones, the kind of phones Ugandans have dubbed “china phones” since the SIM registration campaign is almost over and some telecoms like MTN Uganda have disconnected some unregistered numbers, UCC will probably move to its next stages which including digital migration and disconnecting counterfeit phones.
So it’s better to find out if the phone you are going to buy is counterfeit or not. This might help you in case you already bought the phone, so that you start looking for a new one. I will also fill you in how to avoid buying counterfeit phones.
UCC developed a tool on its website to help you find out whether your phone is actually counterfeit or Chinese as they popularly call them in Uganda, The tool uses IMEI which is means your serial number. Every IMEI has a manufacturer’s number in it so the make of your phone can be determined from your serial number so keep it safe.
The Tool requires you to enter your IMEI (serial number) which you can get by dialling *#06#. It uses algorithms to return results which should show you your phone model type. And just in case the phone type displayed is different from what your phone is, then you might be in trouble since your phone is counterfeit and may get disconnected by the UCC once their decision is passed. Before you panic when the results come when your phone type is displayed as the manufacturer’s name and a number such as Samsung GT-8190 instead of Galaxy S3 mini you are OK, because manufacturers have model numbers for their phone names, but you might have to check just in case the model number is the same. We found an alternative method that tells you your phone type, model and number as well as a picture for you to be sure.
In case the Tool by UCC displays an error in red saying “IMEI (22506##########) is not legitimate; hence your phone might be a counterfeit. Contact your vendor for assistance!” that means your phone is definitely counterfeit. Phones whose serial numbers were changed may also face the same problem and might get disconnected as well.
Now let’s show you the whole process in pictures
Disclaimer: we did not code any of these tools, the tool can be found on the UCC website here, or This post isn’t endorsed by UCC and neither is the featured image official, We used phones that we bought in a genuine shop and a phone that we all could see was counterfeit, (a counterfeit galaxy s3 that had less specs than the original) keep your IMEI safe.