BOTSWANA’S MASCOM AND ORANGE IN BUST UP OVER SHORT CODE USE

Telecoms

A war is likely to erupt between two cellular providers Mascom and Orange Botswana with the Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) as the referee.

Mascom allegedly mistakenly used a short code which is supposed to be exclusively used by Orange Botswana. The short code in question is 1522; it was used during a match between Township Rollers and Seychelles Marketing Board at the National Stadium on 4th March 2006.

Orange Botswana spokesperson Kago Mmopi told Your Money that his company might have lost money.

"There are financial implications due to confusion caused to Orange customers who have come to associate the code with Orange and the Senior Team (Zebras). As a result there is undeniable risk that any and all future Orange Zebra competitions will have significantly reduced customer participation due to voter apathy- a direct relation to Mascom infringing on the Orange Branded short code" Mmopi said. To date Mascom has not yet apologised both to BTA and Orange.

BTA has issued a press statement threatening to take 'appropriate' action against Mascom. A representative of BTA T.B Koontse declined to say what steps would taken against Mascom. All he would say was that save the matter would be resolved.

Meanwhile Mmopi his company has not had any communication from Mascom about the matter. He added that his company is waiting for a response from BTA since they are the regulating body. Mmopi said BTA issued a press release clarifying that Orange has the sole and exclusive use of code 1522.

He said Mascom did not follow any of the BTA process and procedures to register the competition and as result Mascom was not authorised by the BTA to use short code 1522. "As a result the BTA is taking 'appropriate' action against Mascom for their blatant disregard of the BTA processes and procedures to register short codes. However, the press release does not elaborate the nature of action against Mascom, nor has Orange been informed by the BTA of the 'appropriate' action against Mascom" he said.

The Voice