Further pressure on MTS

10 Jul 2012

Uzbekistan’s State Communications Inspectorate has temporarily shut down 208 base stations belonging to Russian-backed cellco MTS Uzbekistan. According to the Moscow Times, Uzbek authorities claimed to have discovered further infractions by MTS, saying that ‘the fibre-optic communication lines laid through the conduit running between switching stations are operated without proper commissioning of the acceptance committee.’ The cellcos said that the government’s activity would cause ‘some deterioration and disruption to mobile phone services.’ The charge follows a long list of other accusations from Uzbek authorities including allegations of money laundering, tax evasion and operating without a licence. As previously noted by CommsUpdate, the government arrested a number of MTS managers last week in relation to the charges. The intensifying pressure from the government reportedly echoes similar raids on foreign-owned companies that have ultimately led to their closure with their assets handed to a member of Uzbekistan’s ruling elite.

Uzbekistan, UMS (Mobiuz)