NetOne seeks arrest of Econet officials over service cut-off

Zimbabwean state-owned mobile operator NetOne has threatened to have Econet Wireless Zimbabwe's board and management arrested over the termination of interconnection services between the two last week.

The services have been restored after NetOne went to the High Court, but the state operator says that Econet and its management have committed a criminal offence by unlawfully and willfully impeding communication services between customers of both networks.

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NetOne says it will be reporting the offence to the Zimbabwe Republic Police. NetOne also said the termination of interconnection services was a threat to national security.

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Turning to the alleged debt that caused Econet to cut off NetOne, the state company said it has appealed to the Minister of Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development and these issues have to be determined first.

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NetOne said it appealed against the current interconnection regime as it favours what is referred to as Sender Keeps All (SKA), an arrangement that does not require operators to pay each other for telecommunications traffic exchanged between their networks.

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NetOne said this would reduce consumer telecommunications prices as the savings on the fees will be passed on to customers, allowing them to make calls for as little as USD 0.16 cents per minute.

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NetOne also said that the appeal it and state owned fixed line operator TelOne made resulted in regulator POTRAZ suspending all interconnection negotiations pending the determination of the issues.

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