Guinea: Phone shop owners angry at switch from fixed line to GSM by Sotelgui


A number of Managers and owners of phone shop owners went to see the D-G of incumbent Sotelgui to protest over its decision to switch the supply of their service from copper cable to GSM on a pre-paid basis.

Sotelgui says it has introduced this new measure to combat line piracy, where “tele-cabine” owners tap into a phone line that’s not theirs for free. The owners of the phone shops said that not only were they not consulted about this new measure before it was introduced unilaterally but that the new rates from Sotelgui nean their businesses are no longer profitable.

Whereas call costs used to be GNF150-200 (US37-49 cents), Sotelgui was now charging GNF300 (US73 cents) a minute. This puts Sotelgui back into the top quarter of phone charging bands within the sub-region and provides the best possible soil for the growth of an extensive grey market. The owners view this price hike as a flagrant violation of the contracts they thought they had with Sotelgui. Various mediation attempts are being made to resolve the situation.