The interconnectivity fight among GSM companies in Liberia would not just go away as the latest scenario between two of the companies in the industry COMIUM and the Lone Star Cell MTN Communication Corporation seems to indicate.
It took no smaller than intervention by the government regulatory body, the Liberia Telecommunication Authority to compel the four GSM companies here to comply with interconnectivity, which is essential to allow subscribers to freely communicate irrespective of which service provider they may subscribe to.
However, that commitment is being broken by Lone Star Cell MTN, which as of last Friday May 18, disconnected the Interconnection Truck with COMIUM, citing indebtedness.
Now, the Liberia Telecommunication Authority or LTA through a press statement has instructed Lone Star Cell MTN’s Chief Executive Officer Mazen Mroue to immediately reconnect COMIUM before 5 pm Monday, May 21, 2021.
In a follow up on Monday whether or not Lone Star Communication has complied with the LTA’s mandate, the company’s Chief Corporate Communication Officer Dr. Laurance Bropleh, who spoke to this paper via mobile phone, said he could not respond directly because he had not seen the press statement.
“I haven’t seen the LTA press release yet; I can’t respond,” Bropleh said.
The LTA’s instruction to Lone Star Cell MTN followed COMUIM’s complaints to the LTA, accusing Lone Star Cell of disconnecting the interconnection trunk with it (COMIUM) since May 18, 2012. LTA, however, confirmed that COMIUM owes Lonestar Cell, but assured the matter would be handled as it had already intervened.
The Lone Star Communication Corporation however circulated text messages to subscribers last Friday, informing them that it would limit calls from COMIUM to Lone Star Cell MTN due to indebtedness by the latter.
LTA Acting Director for Public and Consumers Affairs E. Blamo Robinson told a brief news conference in Sinkor Monday that the regulatory body would commence necessary procedure for the suspension of Lone Star Cell’s operational license, while threatening additional appropriate actions against the company.
Robinson told reporters in Monrovia that Lone Star Cell’s consistent disregard of LTA’s regulations and the government’s telecommunications policies pushes the LTA to the extreme.
LTA said on Saturday, May 19, 2012, the LoneStar Communication Corporation without any regard to its (LTA’s) intervention over complaints of COMIUM’s indebtedness, went ahead to inform its subscribers through text messages that it will limit COMIUM to LoneStar calls as of Friday, May 18.