Moov Togo’s operations suspended over non-payment of licence renewal fee

Telecoms

Togo’s second mobile telephone operator Atlantic Telecom-Togo (owned by Etisalat) which runs the Moov brand has been from 10 August because it has not paid its licence fees. Although it has not been stated publicly, Moov would like to have an international gateway as part of its licence renewal rather than continue to deal with the incumbent Togo Telecom. Togo is one of a shrinking number of African countries with a monopoly international gateway.

The Togolese Posts, Telecommunications and ICT Ministry announced in a release that Atlantic Telecom-Togo has been operating without a legal license since 2008. According to the same source, the mobile telephone operator did not fulfill provisions of a decree on the financial conditions of licenses’ renewal.

“Discussions undertaken in June 2008 led to negotiations and the signing by the Telecommunications ministry on 22 May 2009 of two decrees determining the financial conditions of licenses’ renewal,” the same source underlined. To date, the very first operator mobile Togo Telecom and its subsidiary Togo Cellulaire started fulfilling the provisions of these decrees.

The Ministry’s disagreements with Moov go back to the date when it changed its name from “Télécel” to “Moov”. The Ministry maintains it should have been informed and approved this name change. However, the two parties had thereafter concluded an agreement on the issue.

The suspicion must be that the Ministry is either trying to extract additional licence revenue from Moov and/or that it is trying to protect the Government-owned incumbent’s mobile subsidiary Togo Cellulaire, which has seen a large part of its subscriber base desert to Moov.

African Press Agency