Airtel transgressed on-net tariff regulation, understated international traffic data

21 Jan 2013

Gabon’s Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Posts (ARCEP) has reportedly levied sanctions on the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, Indian-backed Airtel, for underreporting its volume of international network traffic in a statement of June 2012. An audit carried out by ARCEP on Airtel’s premises in August-September 2012 found that the operator had failed to disclose ‘more than three-quarters’ of traffic, according to a report by Agence Ecofin. The level of fine to be issued has not yet been revealed. Furthermore, ARCEP also found that the on-net retail call rates charged by Airtel transgressed the regulated range set by the watchdog. TeleGeography notes that in a decision effective 1 January 2012, ARCEP began regulating the retail on-net call rates of Airtel, under its designation of significant market power (SMP), determining that the SMP operator’s on-net rates (including promotional offers) cannot be less than twice its wholesale mobile voice call termination rate (MTR). ARCEP also introduced asymmetry in MTRs from 1 January 2012, in favour of Airtel’s rivals Gabon Telecom (Libertis), Moov and Azur.