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Gateway Monopoly Extended… “Tetac Pays US$20M To Gov’t. Annually” …..Says Alpha Kanu

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Gateway Monopoly Extended… “Tetac Pays US$20M To Gov’t. Annually” …..Says Alpha Kanu

The Minister of Information and Communications, Alhaji Alpha Kanu has confirmed that the international gateway monopoly has been extended by another six months. According to the Minister, the extension was granted in order to create enough time for the Telecommunications Act 2006 to be amended thus removing all barriers to liberalisation. “We have been forced to liberalise the international gateway by the World Bank…Personally, I have issues with the policy of liberalisation of the international gateway…But it is a Government policy to liberalise… We are going to do so within a period of six months”, said Minister Kanu.
The Communications Minister disclosed that with the current arrangement (international gateway monopoly) the Government of Sierra Leone is getting between US$15M to US$20M annually from Teltac…What will happen if the monopoly is removed?… We are not going to get such a whopping sum of money from the liberalisation of the international gateway. For me, personally, it is not a wise decision to liberalise the international gateway”, Hon. Alpha Kanu said.
According to the Communications Minister, the decision by the former SLPP Government to grant the international gateway monopoly to SIERRATEL was wise.
In 2006, SIERRATEL contracted a private firm, Teltac to manage the international gateway on their behalf. Hon. Alpha Kanu noted that, it would be difficult for SIERRATEL to compete with other telecoms operators if the international gateway monopoly is removed from them.
NATCOM will now put out an international tender for a company to take over the monitoring of call traffic in and out of Sierra Leone. The “gate keeper” contract will be advertised in order to attract credible international companies’ interest in the monitoring of call traffic.
“An Irish company, Sloan Communications is far ahead of other companies in this area”, a senior NATCOM official commented last night. Sloan has a running contract with NATCOM for monitoring call quality, according to the same NATCOM official.

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