Guinea’s Regulatory Authority for Post and Telecommunications (L’Autoritie de Regulation des Postes et Telecommunications, ARPT) ordered the closure of Cellcom’s head office on 8 October, following the mobile network operator’s (MNO’s) non-payment of fees on national and international calls totalling more than GNF140 billion (USD14.3 million). The regulator stressed that only administration, finance and customer services were affected at the country’s third largest MNO. According to a source at the regulator quoted by Guinee News, Cellcom had been told to pay GNF7 billion immediately and the balance no later than 2021.
Meanwhile, Orange Guinea, the country’s largest MNO, announced the activation of ‘4G+’ LTE-A services on 7 October. Although the cellco has not revealed coverage details, it claims the new network offers data transfer speeds twice that of standard 4G services. Orange was granted the country’s first 4G licence by the ARPT in March 2019, paying USD90 million for a ten-year concession, and went on to launch services in Conakry in April 2019. Coverage has since been expanded to the cities of Boke, Kankan, Doko, Faranah, Kamsar, Kindia, Labe, Mamou, N’Zerekore and Siguiri.