Almost nine days ago, the country’s telecommunications regulator, NATCOM (National Telecommunications Commission) imposed a total fine of US$1,350,000 (One Million three hundred and fifty thousand United States dollars) on the three GSM operators in Sierra Leone.
Airtel (Orange Sierra Leone) was fined US$750,000 (Seven hundred and fifty thousand US dollars), Africell (SL) was fined US$400,000 (four hundred thousand United States dollars) and the government-owned Sierratel was fined US$ 200,000 (two hundred thousand United States dollars) for failing to meet KPI (Key Performance Indicators). They were also ordered to compensate customers with three days of free on-net calls.
Africell and Sierratel have successfully negotiated and paid their fines to NATCOM on Friday 8th September, 2017 in order not to miss the one week deadline given to them by the telecoms regulator.
The CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Airtel (Orange Sierra Leone), Sekou Drame told the Global Times on Saturday that they have not refused to pay with the fine imposed on them by NATCOM.
He said that, they have written to NATCOM, demanding clarification as to why they had to incur the heaviest fine and that, they have also appealed to the Commission to review the fine in line with the huge investments they are making in order to improve on rural connectivity.
Since the deadline to pay the fine has elapsed, it is not known what line of action NATCOM intends to take against Airtel (Orange SL) for failing to comply with the payment of the fine in time.
All three operators have agreed to comply with the order to offer free on-net calls to their subscribers.
Airtel and Africell have already completed the three-days of free on-net calls for their numerous subscribers.
Sierratel is expected to begin today, according to a Press Release issued by the company on Friday.
NACTOM sources refused to comment on the issue yesterday.