Vodacom threatens to cut off Tmcel due to unpaid fees

17 Jun 2021

Vodacom Mozambique has threatened to halt interconnection with rival wireless operator Mocambique Telecom (Tmcel) due to unpaid interconnect fees over the past three years. A report from Ecofin says Tmcel has built up a debt of MZN600 million (USD9.6 million) and Vodacom will stop connecting voice calls from Tmcel users to the Vodacom network ‘in order to avoid the growth of debt’.

In a statement, Vodacom said that the move ‘will affect voice services, preventing Tmcel customers from making calls to Vodacom customers. However, users of the Vodacom network will continue to make calls to Tmcel without interruption.’ It added that SMS services will also be unaffected. Vodacom is demanding payment of at least one-third of the amount owed in order to postpone the disconnection. A meeting has been called between the two operators and local telecoms regulator for tomorrow (18 June).

Tmcel is majority-owned by the government of Mozambique, while Vodacom is 85%-owned by South Africa’s Vodacom Group, which is itself majority-owned by the UK’s Vodafone Group.