Mauritania: Three Operators Fined US$1.5-Million Because Of Service Failure
Mauritania's three telco operators, Mattel, Mauritel and Chinguitel will each have to cough up a portion of a US$1.5-million fine that has been issued by the Regulatory Authority for Posts and Telecommunications (ARPT) due to the poor quality of voice and data services offered.
ARPT released a statement which said that the fines were issued as the result of an evaluation of the quality of services offered by the telecoms operators between 20 October and 25 November 2018 in different regions, including the capital city, Nouakchott.
Mauritel, an entity of the Maroc Telecom Group, was slapped with the highest fine of 37.7-million ouguiyas, approximately US$$1-million. Mattel, a part of the Tunisian group Tunisie Telecom, was fined a sum of 12-million ouguiyas (approximately US$330,000), while Mauritania's subsidiary of Sudatel group, Chinguitel received a fine of 10.7-million ouguiyas, equivalent to US$294,000.
The operators have not yet made any comments on the matter although they have been requested to issue an official response to the assessments results that had led to the fines.
In the meantime, the ARPT continues to keep its focus on the introduction of 4G services in the country and promote a culture of competition in the market.
In October 2018 ITWeb Africa reported that the regulator was planning to award 4G licenses to existing operators as well as grant a 2G/3G/4G permit to a new entrant. Nonetheless, these plans were subsequently paused until 2019 - although the regulator still has not issued a new official announcement.
Experts speculate that the country's telecommunications sector still has more than enough space for operators.
While Mauritania has around 92.2 mobile-phone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, mobile broadband subscriptions are stagnant at 30.3%.
Research shows that only 20.8% of people in the country use the internet while approximately 14.3% of households have internet access, according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
Credit: This article originated from www.itwebafrica.com