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Lonestar Cell Threatens LTA

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The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn LiberiaThe Management of Lonestar Communications Corporation or LCC has threatened legal action against the Liberia Telecommunication Authority or LTA for imposing a fine of US$225.000.00 on the Corporation.

The LTA took the decision this week for what it termed noncompliance with its order (LTA 0005-10-04-11) which calls for both Lonestar and the Cellcom GSM companies to expand their interconnection trunks and keep it in place.

A press release recently quoted LTA Commissioner Henry Benson as saying that Lonestar Cell failed to honor three provisions contained in the LTA Order, including  failure to expand its interconnection trunk with Cellcom by an additional 16 E1s as well as failure to negotiate and conclude an interconnection agreement with Cellcom within 14 business days following the publication of the order, and the company’s failure to issue an indemnity monthly bond in the amount of US$150,000.00 against Cellcom’s monthly prepayment of  S$150,000.00 for interconnection charges as agreed by both companies.

There is a lingering dispute between the two institutions with Lonestar Cell requesting Cellcom to make good on an indebtedness of over US$ 1.6m for interconnection fees, dating June, 2009.

According to Lonestar, the indebtedness is due the exchange of interconnection traffic between both companies, which Cellcom is reportedly yet to pay.

What is troubling is that the LTA, fully cognizant of all this and having been advised repeatedly that interconnection agreement is purely a business arrangement between the two entities, would now mandate Lonestar Cell MTN to give Cellcom additional 16 E1s, in spite of the fact that Cellcom has not met its financial obligations to Lonestar Cell MTN, according to Lonstar.

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