Rivals deny Africell interconnection after pricing bust-up

Telecoms

Africell – the Democratic Republic of Congo’s newest mobile operator – has found itself frozen out by its rivals Vodacom, Oasis (Tigo) and Airtel, all of whom have terminated their respective interconnection agreements with the newcomer over a pricing-related dispute.

The move, which took place on 8 November, has been criticised by Africell president Mbayo Lufunga Pelesa, who has denounced it as being in violation of the Telecommunications Act. It is believed that the trio objected to a certain promotion introduced by Africell, which promises free on-net calls.

Telecoms minister Kin-Key Mulumba has now waded into the debate, and hopes to organise a summit between the feuding parties. He commented: ‘The law is clear, they must cooperate. Those who refuse to cooperate will be struck [off]. I think dialogue is the first track’.