MTN Liberia (Lonestar Cell), in partnership with Research in Motion (RIM), has launched BlackBerry services in the African country, despite an ongoing row with the regulator over its mobile operating licences. Last Thursday the cellco launched the BlackBerry solution for its customers allowing users to access a range of email, messaging, social networking, phone, calendar, web, multimedia and other business and lifestyle applications. The company is initially offering two handsets – the BlackBerry Curve 9360 and the BlackBerry Bold 9900 smart phones – available with two service options – BlackBerry Enterprise Server for corporate customers and BlackBerry Internet Service, marketed as BlackBerry Absolute Plan, for small businesses and individual customers.
The announcement comes not long after the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) reaffirmed that its decision to suspend MTN Liberia’s operating licences for three days is ‘irreversible’. As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, LTA chair Angelique Weeks confirmed the suspension of MTN’s two operational licences as a result of the cellco’s earlier ‘unilateral’ implementation of an ‘unauthorised’ change in its status of its interconnection with fellow operator Comium Liberia between 18 May and 21 May 2012. Ms Weeks said that MTN Liberia’s failure to comply with its directive to restore full interconnection by 21 May 2012 is the reason for the punitive action.