Econet - NetOne battle heats up
TELECOMS| Aug. 23, 2012, 1:43 p.m.
By Alfonce Mbizwo, Harare, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s largest mobile network operator, Econet Wireless, says it will terminate mobile network interconnection services to the state owned rival, NetOne after the latter repudiated their interconnection agreement.
“NetOne has unequivocally repudiated its interconnection agreement with Econet. As a result of the repudiation, Econet…..will have no choice but to terminate all interconnection services it was providing to NetOne under the repudiated agreement,” said Econet in a statement flighted in the local press.
As a result of the termination, no calls will be made between the two networks.
Econet says it owed USDDD20 million (minus interest) by NetOne from as far back as 2009. Econet says it has in the past engaged Zimbabwe’s telecoms regulator, POTRAZ, and the parent ministry of Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development, and Ministry of Finance to intervene but to no avail.
NetOne, Econet says, had denied the existence of an interconnection agreement with itself, even though it continued to receive payments from Econet originating from the agreement.
From the communication, it said it was “obvious that NetOne was not prepared to honour its obligations” even as it was collecting the fees due to Econet from subscribers.
Econet says it is ready to reconnect once NetOne ‘makes a substantial payment towards the historical debt, and commits to meet future obligations on due date’.
NetOne has yet to respond, but Econet has complained, most recently to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications that it is owed USD 85 million in interconnection fees by the two state owned telecoms operators, TelOne and NetOne.
Econet is also paying tax on the uncollected revenue.
NetOne subscribers are likely to come off worse in the skirmish between the two service providers. Econet, with 7 million subscribers, commands 70% of the mobile market in Zimbabwe while NetOne has 1.6 million, the least among the three operators in the country.
MORE TELECOMS NEWS
MTN Ghana ready to deploy 4G LTEThe Chief Executive Officer at MTN Ghana, Ebenezer Twum Asante, has indicated MTN Ghana’s readiness and preparedness to deploy 4G LTE in the country. Read More
New Airtel shop opens in MeruAirtel has unveiled a new walk-in Service Centre in Meru that offers customers the convenience and ease of access to Airtel's range of value-added products and services. Read More
BTCL releases ‘ultimate communications solution’The Botswana Telecommunications Corporations Limited (BTCL) has unveiled a mobile VSAT product meant to revolutionise the way of doing business in the country. Read More
Glo unveils Twin Bash with 400% data bonus, 200% airtime bonusJust two weeks after the launch of the Free Tomorrow promo, Globacom has unveiled another promo with benefits that include quadruple data and free double airtime for calls to all network. Read More
Vodafone Ghana CEO urges African SMEs to embrace technology as a key enablerVodafone Ghana Chief Executive Officer Haris Broumidis has urged local entrepreneurs to embrace technology to help their businesses to grow. Read More
Orange signs an agreement with Helios Investment Partners for sale of Telkom Kenya stakeThe Orange Group has announced that it has signed a binding agreement with Helios Investment Partners for the sale of its entire 70% stake in Telkom Kenya. Read More
MTN CEO resignsMTN has appointed Phuthuma Nhleko as Executive Chairman in a temporary capacity following the resignation of Sifiso Dabengwa as CEO. Read More
MTN clarifies NCC fine statusMTN has released a statement to clarify the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) fine and related issues. Read More
Vodacom stresses the need for unified communication for the growth of Nigerian SMEsDare Ogunlade, General Manager of Cisco Nigeria, has highlighted the benefits of Unified Communications (UC) to SMEs. Read More
WIOCC CEO among telecoms’ 100 most powerful people for 5th consecutive yearFor the fifth consecutive year, Chris Wood, CEO of Africa’s carriers’ carrier WIOCC, has been named as one of the 100 most powerful people in the global telecommunications industry. Read More
FEATURED STORYeCommerce in Africa urged to take advantage of mobile
The Executive Chairman of Alltel has urged operators of eCommerce in Ghana and Africa as a whole to take advantage of the current trend for Africans to trade online via their mobile handsets.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHNigeria needs $25b investment in broadband, says Wood
Telecoms executive Adrian Wood speaks to Kokumo Goodie about investment potential in Nigeria.