Uganda Telecom, Airtel resolve interconnection dispute
10 February 2017
Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) and Airtel have resolved an interconnection agreement over accumulated debts, which would have seen customers from either company unable to make calls to one another from 3 February.
One week ago, “interconnection agreement and interconnection services between Airtel Uganda and UTL were terminated,” read a notice to Airtel customers. “Airtel Uganda regrets to inform its customers that effective Friday 3rd February 2017, our subscribers will not be able to make calls to or receive calls from Uganda Telecom Limited.”
However, today Stephen Kaboyo, chairman of the Board at Uganda Telecom, said in a public notice on the operator’s website: “Uganda Telecom is pleased to inform all its customers that they can continue to make and receive calls from Airtel. The management of Airtel and Uganda Telecom have resolved all the issues related to contractual obligations and are pleased to announce it is business as usual.”
Uganda’s Daily Monitor reports that the dispute can be traced as far back as 2012 when UTL is thought to have violated a new interconnection agreement signed by the companies. Last year Airtel petitioned for payment of the debt, without avail, and subsequently moved to terminate the agreement. In 2011, Airtel suspended calls to UTL over Shs 10 billion in interconnection fees, which UTL then paid.
Airtel Uganda’s legal and regulatory director, Dennis Kakonge, said last week that Uganda Telecom owed Airtel over Shs8 billion arising out of unpaid interconnect fees and leased line services, according to the Daily Mirror.
The companies have now agreed on a new payment schedule.