Africell’s Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)-based subscribers are able to make calls to Vodacom and Orange customers for the first time in more than two years, BizTech Africa reports. Highlighting ‘intense negotiations’ between the trio, the new agreement effectively breaks a long-standing interconnection ban enforced by the Autorite de Regulation des Postes et Telecom (ARPTC). It is not yet clear whether DRC’s other mobile operators will now follow suit and lift their respective interconnection bans.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Vodacom, Oasis and Airtel all terminated their respective interconnection agreements with Africell on 8 November 2012 over a pricing-related dispute; the trio complained that the newcomer was enticing subscribers away from them with the promise of free on-net calls. In August 2014 the company confirmed that the interconnection freeze remained in place, with Africell stubbornly refusing to alter its cut-price tariffs, effectively meaning that its entire user base were limited to on-net calls.