MTN in Swaziland is reportedly getting ready to take Swaziland Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC) to court for $100 million, after MTN claims that SPTC was in breach of a joint contractual agreement.
The ire of MTN was raised when SPTC started its own telecommunications company in Swaziland last year, while SPTC still owns a 41% stake in MTN Swaziland.
“SPTC owns 41% interest in MTN Swaziland, so given the fact that they so hurriedly rolled back their network in March says they might potentially be in breach of the contract,” said Kalyan Medapati, senior analyst, Global Markets, Informa Telecoms and Media.
Swaziland’s Times Newspaper reported that the latest telecommunications service provider had at launch 50 000 fixed-wireless customers, 14 000 mobile phone subscribers and 10 000 users of its mobile internet.
The $100 million amount MTN is seeking from SPTC is derived from the fact that, according to MTN, they have lost between $17 million and $65 million since SPTC launched their mobile offering. But SPTC is in no hurry to fork over the cash.
“Under normal circumstances, this is a lot of money. It is almost equivalent to the asset value of SPTC. This money is too much. SPTC can’t afford to pay such,” said Arthur Ngcobo, acting Board Chairman at SPTC in an interview with The Times.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor