Recently, the GSM Company – Lonestar MTN, filed an official complaint against its counterpart – Cellcom/Orange, to the Liberia Telecommunications Authority or :LTA alleged that Cellcom GSM was deceptively luring Lonestar subscribers through an SMS scheme using Lonestar short codes.
The complaint alleged that Cellcom/orange was urging Lonestar subscribers to “switch to Cellcom’s 3 day special for $1 by texting a short code”. Lonestar also claimed that the SMS’ was creating traffic jams on its
network – something, it said, was in violation of Part VIII of the Telecommunications Act which deals with Interconnections – allegations that Cellcom/Orange has already denied.
In view of the foregoing, the LTA has since launched a probe with a challenge to Lonestar MTN to provide evidence – a request already granted by the company.While this investigation has been underway for more than a week now, there’s no doubt that this investigation is being conducted in consonance with the telecommunication law and International Telecommunications Union protocol to determine where the violations
are, if any.
There’s no doubt about eye-brows being raised at the LTA regarding the conduct of this investigation.To also help the process of determining where the chips may fall in this investigation, the LTA must also access all of the Lonestar-Cellcom promotional adverts broadcast by the radio and television stations and not only those done through text messaging.
If and only if the result of the current LTA’s investigation is to be credibly accepted by the two GSM Companies and the public, all of the facts, including the aforementioned, must be holistically considered without any favor, fear or inducement.
Calling spade, a spade in this matter would further accelerate and
strengthen the integrity, credibility and independence of the Liberia
Telecommunications Authority – the official regulatory body of all GSM
companies operating in Liberia.
While the LTA is being challenged to do a good and independent
investigation, Lonestar MTN and Cellcom/Orange must also refrain from
acts incompatible with such probe.
With more than a week into the investigation now, the LTA must also
speed up, in terms of concluding with recommendations and actions to
prevent future recurrence.