Telecel fails to pay USD137.5m licence renewal fee

9 Jan 2014

Zimbabwean mobile network operator Telecel has reportedly failed to pay its USD137.5 million operating licence renewal fee, local news agency IT Web Africa reports, citing an unnamed government source. Further, Samuel Kundishora, Zimbabwe’s ICT permanent secretary, was also quoted as saying earlier this week that Telecel has to ‘do something to ensure that it meets its licence obligations’.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in August 2013 POTRAZ renewed Telecel’s operating licence after the company pledged to adhere to the country’s foreign ownership laws; majority shareholder Telecel Globe, itself ultimately owned by Russia’s Vimpelcom Group, was required to ensure that 60% of the Zimbabwean company’s shares are owned by a local shareholder. Representatives of Telecel Globe met with local shareholders and agreed on the method and modalities to sell the equity stake to local investors, but little in the way of concrete progress has been reported.

Zimbabwe, Telecel Zimbabwe, VEON