Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the country’s largest telecoms operator, has accused TelOne of refusing to remit $38 million in call termination fees since January 2009 and called on government to intervene in the dispute.
Econet Wireless chairman Tawanda Nyambirai on Wednesday appealed to Vice-President Joice Mujuru during a “Business Talks to Zanu PF” conference held in Harare, for assistance in recovering the dues.
In terms of an interconnection agreement between the two telecoms firms, TelOne is obliged to pay fees for its traffic that terminates on Econet’s network and vice-versa. Interconnection agreements apply when a telecommunications provider carries traffic of another network and terminates it on its network.
Nyambirai said TelOne last paid termination fees prior to dollarisation and has since then accumulated arrears month-on-month.
“TelOne is not in good shape; Econet is being affected by the $38 million debt. We have sat on the table to discuss the issue, but we have not got an audience regarding this issue,” Nyambirai said.
“This issue needs to be attended to because we are facing difficulties. The entire government system is being neglected.”
Nyambirai said TelOne’s response so far has been to ask for a solution from Econet.
TelOne, the country’s largest fixed telecoms operator, is one of the 10 parastatals that government wants to privatise to revive and modernise their operations.
According to a government investor prospectus produced last year, government is prepared to sell up to 60% of the parastatal.
South Africa’s Telkom is favoured to take over the ailing company.