The stand-off between MTN and the Francophone West African country's telecommunications regulator will soon enter its sixth week.
The regulator also said MTN and Atlantique needed new licences, with much higher licence fees required. MTN was asked to pay $620 million (R4.34 billion), a 620% increase from the $10 million under the original structure.
MTN and Atlantique – owned by Dubai-based Emirates Telecommunications – have so far refused to pay.
Reuters reported on Tuesday that
The wire service also reported the TRA has granted
An equity analyst, who did not want to be named, says the big question is whether Globacom replaces or supplements the two suspended network operators.
The Reuters report suggests the former, saying
The analyst says the significance in the
“In my personal opinion, MTN has every right to fight it,” the analyst says. However, what is key is what message this stand-off sends to other countries where MTN operates. “MTN has to treat this very carefully. It may be better to exit rather than capitulate,” the analyst says.
“Either way, the money is not material. In the bigger scheme of things
BMI-TechKnowledge senior analyst Richard Hurst says he is sure MTN is working hard to resolve the issue. “They must be locked in some negotiations,” he says.
“It would be in the regulator's best interest to resolve this as soon as possible,”
However, MTN has so far not commented on how the dispute is impacting its revenue. The mobile operator's 2006 annual report indicates the
Victor Tokpanou, legal adviser to president Thomas Boni Yayi, told state television on Monday there was still room for negotiations with the two suspended operators.
MTN had not responded to ITWeb's request for comment by the time of publication.