Uganda stops MTN from blocking calls

March 17, 2011 • Mobile and Telecoms

Uganda has ended any visions MTN’s local unit had of blocking calls to competitor Uganda Telecom – owned by Libya – after the company last week had threatened to bar customers from phoning people with the other network.

It comes as the row between MTN and Uganda Telecom (UTL) continues. According to a statement last week by MTN, the Libyan-owned company owes MTN massive amounts of money after it was given a series of loans by Africa’s largest mobile operator.

The government said it has intervened in order to ensure there would be no disruption of services for citizens, a press release from Uganda’s ministry of communications said.

“The government has reached an agreed position with both parties to resolve the matter amicably as soon as possible,” Communications Minister Aggrey Awori told reporters.

The threats were obviously serious, after MTN announced last week it planned to cut the service.

“MTN customers will therefore be unable to place direct calls to UTL subscribers, and vice-versa,” the statement last week from MTN read. “This action has been necessitated by UTL continuously defaulting on the settlement of its interconnect payments, amounting to about Shs 20 billion accumulated over a period of three years.”

For now, at least, calls from mobiles to either network have not been affected.

By Staff

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