Burkina Faso telecoms operators fined $5.4 million

Telecoms

Burkina Faso has slapped three telecoms operators with more than $5 million in penalties for poor service, a regulatory official said Friday.

"We decided to impose financial sanctions against the three mobile operators for their failure to comply with terms," said Bako Mathurin, the president of Burkina Faso's regulatory authority ARCEP.

He added that the three companies--Telmob, Airtel and Telecel Faso--had two weeks to pay the combined total of 2.706 billion CFA francs ($5.36 million).

Click here to find out more!Government officials and consumer groups regularly take the telecom operators to task for poor Internet service, as well as problems with calls and text messaging.

But that hasn't stopped the government from recently awarding all three companies 3G licenses for XOF1.5 billion each.

Telmob, a subsidiary of Morocco's Onatel, and the largest of the three telecoms with 3.5 million of Burkina Faso's 8 million mobile subscribers, was hit Friday with the largest penalty, at XOF1.086 billion.

Airtel, owned by India's Bharti Airtel Ltd., was fined XOF894 million and locally owned Telecel Faso XOF724 million.

The regulator has plans to allow a fourth operator into the Burkina Faso telecoms market.