Vodacom, Tmcel reach compromise over interconnection dispute
Vodacom Mozambique has reached an agreement with state-owned Mozambique Telecom (Tmcel) over the ongoing 60-million meticais (about US$10-million) interconnection debt dispute.
In June Vodacom threatened to cancel its interconnection agreement with Tmcel which would have prevented Tmcel customers from being able to call Vodacom numbers.
Vodacom said Tmcel had failed to settle the debt and honour the interconnection agreement between the two companies.
The country’s telecommunications industry regulator, the Mozambique National Communications Institute (INCM), which stepped in to defuse the tension, said Tmcel has agreed to immediately pay a third of the debt and thereafter pay 12-million meticais (US$190,000) a month.
According to the latest agreement, Tmcel will continue to make monthly payments in the amount of 12 million meticais for interconnection bills, which will increase if it is unable to keep its current bills below 12 million meticais.
The INCM said if current bills are below the stipulated 12 million meticais monthly amount, the difference will be used to reduce the remainder of the accumulated debt.
The regulator added that it will continue to monitor the situation and said: “…. due to the consensus being found, Vodacom will not proceed with the cut of the interconnection. The guiding consensus between the two operators was the importance of continuity of telecommunications services provided to the users of two operators and the public interest.”
INCM Director General Tuaha Mote said the matter has been resolved and that the two operators will continue to provide services to their customers unhindered.