ART restores Telecel's interconnections

By:
James Pearce
Published on:

Central African Republican operator had seen interconnections and international calls suspended for two days over a tax dispute

The Agency of Telecommunications Regulation (ART) suspended Central African Republican mobile operator Telecel’s interconnection capability for two days amid an ongoing tax dispute.

The watchdog banned local rivals such as Orange, Azur and Moov from interconnecting with Telecel, while it also withdrew the firm’s international calling capacity at the end of January, according to reports.

ART contacted customers in the country via text message on 27 January to inform them of the suspension, although no reason was given. The message said: “"Telecel calls to international and other national operators are suspended, except Telecel to Telecel, upon decision of the ART".

APA News claims the sanction was imposed last month after Telecel failed to pay the government around XAF600 million ($979,513) in due taxes and duties.

However, some reports from the country claim interconnection services have now been restored. News.Abangui.com claimed that Telecel’s suspension was lifted on 29 January, although the Neil Telecom subsidiary had not paid off is tax bill, according to unnamed sources.

The news outlet claimed that government authorities had ordered the regulator to lift the ban on Telecel and its rivals, though this has not been confirmed.