Namibian operators' rates row

Namibia Telecom and MTC in war of words over interconnection charges

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By  George Bevir Published  August 31, 2008

A row over interconnection charges has broken out between two of Namibia’s telecoms operators.

Last week, incumbent fixed-line operator Namibia Telecom (NT) issued a press release accusing mobile operator MTC of “exorbitant” and “unfair” interconnection charges. MTC reacted angrily with its own statement, claiming that Namibia Telecom had distorted the facts.

NT said its business was being “disadvantaged by the unfair tactics of MTC which charges exorbitant interconnection fees from their network to fixed lines”, with the effect that customers were discouraged from calling the NT network.

The operator called for the Namibian Communications Commission to intervene and bring “sanity” to the industry, and suggested a move towards cost-based interconnection fees.

MTC refuted the allegations of unfair charges. A statement from the mobile operator said: “The rates in Namibia were offered to MTC by NT and (mobile operator) Cell One, contrary to the claims by both parties when they have finally woken up to realise that their businesses are bleeding from mistakes they have made in the past.

“MTC never imposed the regime but accepted what was proposed by both Cell One and Telecom Namibia,” it added.

As well as accusing NT of “distorting the facts”, MTC claimed that NT had engaged in a “desperate attempt to abuse the vacuum left by the current legislation on the telecommunications industry”.

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