The Chairman of NATCOM (National Telecommunications Commission), Momoh Konte on Friday 11th March, 2016 imposed an unprecedented fine of US$1.2M (One million two hundred thousand United States dollars) on leading GSM operator, Airtel Sierra Leone for failure to meet quality of service parameters in line with ITU (International Telecommunications Union) standards.
Mr. Konte gave the company seven working days to pay the fine in full or face further punitive sanctions.
The NATCOM Chairman announced that, the commission was on the verge of conducting an audit of Ariel’s billing system to ensure that, it complies with the commission’s expectation.
He said that NATCOM was established to regulate the telecoms industry as well as protect the interest of consumers.
Mr. Konte emphasized that mobile operators must ensure that they comply fully with quality of service or face sanctions from the commission.
It would be recalled that, Airtel subscribers have been complaining bitterly about the quality of service provided by the company for the past six months.
A spokesman for Airtel told the Global Times that, work on upgrading their network across the country was progressing satisfactorily. He declined to comment on the fine imposed on the company by NATCOM.
A takeover bid has been concluded by Orange. The deadline for the transition from Airtel to Orange is expected to come into force on 1st April 2016, according to Airtel sources.