Long ARM of the law: regulator fines quintet XOF3.6bn

5 Sep 2012

Niger’s telecoms regulator, Autorite de Regulation Multisectorielle (ARM), has fined five of the country’s telecoms operators a combined XOF3.653 billion (USD6.9 million) for failing to meet the conditions of their licences, as well as for a number of irregularities in rates charged to consumers, writes Agence Ecofin. At XOF2.132 billion, Airtel Niger, the local unit of Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel, was handed the largest penalty, followed by Orange Niger with XOF800.283 million and Atlantique Telecom-owned Moov Niger with XOF254 million. Niger’s state-owned fixed line incumbent Sonitel and its wholly-owned mobile subsidiary SahelCom were fined XOF392.727 million and XOF74.76 million, respectively. The figures correspond to 3% of the operators’ total revenue for 2010. On top of the fine, ARM has also reportedly asked the quintet to introduce a system whereby at the end of a call customers will be informed by SMS the length and cost of the call and how much credit is remaining.