Econet cuts lines to Netone

The country's leading mobile provider Econet has terminated interconnections with Netone due to the accumulative debt by the later.

In a statement, Econet said it is owed more than US$45 million by Netone.

"Econet advises its valued subscribers and those of Netone that Netone has unequivocally repudiated its interconnection agreement with Econet. As a direct result of the repudiation, Econet regrets that from Thursday 23 August 2012, it will have no choice but to terminate all interconnection services it was providing to Netone under the reoufiated agreement," reads the statement.

Econet said in 2010, issues summons for the recovery of some of the debts but the matter is still pending in the courts.

Econet recently raised concern of lack of cooperation by other players in the communication industry.

Giving oral evidence recently on the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technology chaired by MDC-T MP for Mbizo, Settlement Chikwinya, Econet Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Douglas Mboweni said their situation is further exacerbated by the fact that they are being taxed money they don't have.

"One of the biggest challenges we have and l must say that it is a very worrying challenge, is that we continue to see non remittance of interconnection fees by our colleagues in the industry.

"The figure is now an excess of US$85 million. This is revenue that we are taxed upon as Econet. Yet, its revenue that is uncollected. I am just mentioning this so that you see the kind of pressure this kind of situation puts on us."

Last year, the company accused TelOne of refusing to remit $38 million in call termination fees since January 2009 and called on the government to intervene in the dispute.

In terms of an interconnection agreement between the two telecoms firms, TelOne is obliged to pay fees for its traffic that terminates on Econet's network and vice-versa. Interconnection agreements apply when a telecommunications provider carries traffic of another network and terminates it on its network.

"When it comes to interconnection what normally happens is that when a call passes from for example from NetOne to Econet it passes through two networks it is generated in NetOne and then has to jump into an Econet in structure.

"It is a standard practice that when it goes into our network we charge each other what we call interconnection fee and that fee is seven cents."

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