Benin Operator Restarts Services After Shut-Down
The Benin based mobile operator, "Moov" is reported to have resumed services in the country after its license was suspended by the regulator in July. The Areeba/MTN network is understood to still be suspended. Both operators have been accused of breaking their operating licenses by changing their brand names, and the regulator was using the opportunity to massively hike the cost of the licenses before it would allow them to resume services.
The African news agency, PANA reports that Moov has signed the new conditions of contract and committed itself to respecting the provisions, including the increase in the licence fee from FCFA 5 billion to FCFA30 billion over a 10-year period.
Speaking at the company's recent results conference, MTN CEO Phuthuma Nhleko said discussions regarding the company's operations in Benin were continuing with the government, although the network remains turned off. He said that "we don't believe what they are asking for is appropriate,"
Benin currently has four networks in the country, with a total of 1.33 million subscribers - although that represents a population penetration level of just 16%.