Essar Telcom suing Airtel for $22-million
Two of Kenya’s largest mobile service providers are locked in a heated dispute over a Site Leasing Agreement. Essar Telcom (also known as Yu Mobile) and Airtel signed the agreement in 2009, but both parties accuse the other of non-delivery. In the latest development, Airtel has threatened to cut Essar Telcom’s connectivity and Essar is claiming $22-million (Sh1.9-billion) from Airtel.
The dispute stems from Airtel leasing certain sites to Essar, but the operator is claiming that “Airtel failed to meet the agreement which caused Essar to start experiencing frequent site failures that disrupted its network and hampered the customer’s ability to make calls, send sms’ and use data services,” wrote The Star in Nairobi.
Essar also states that it lost 34 batteries from the leased sites, which it claims was a result of Airtels breach of the agreement to provide daily security at the sites.
Essar is determined to recoup the $22-million from Airtel and even managed to get an injunction preventing Airtel from switching off Essar connectivity or removing their equipment at Airtel’s sites.
Meanwhile Airtel has also laid a claim of $3-million (Sh252 million) against Essar for unspecified damages.
The case will be heard before Kenya’s High Court judge Daniel Musinga on 20 July.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor