Guinea’s Regulatory Authority for Post and Telecommunications (L’Autoritie de Regulation des Postes et Telecommunications, ARPT) has fined Orange Guinea GNF9.5 billion (USD1.08 million) for ‘failing to meet its service availability obligations’. In a statement released last Thursday, the regulator explained Orange had experienced network disruptions between 30 June and 1 July which caused some services, including SMS, Orange Money and E-Recharge, to be unavailable for more than 30 hours. According to the ARPT, this ‘serious’ failure violates the service availability, continuity and quality obligations contained in the operator’s licence agreement, and it has therefore taken steps to compensate subscribers for the significant inconvenience caused.
Ousame Keita, chairman of the Guinean consumers’ association UCG, welcomed the ARPT’s decision. ‘We believe the regulator has heeded the public’s plea. If I am not mistaken, this is the first time a telecom operator has been subjected to such a heavy fine. I think this will service as an example for other operators and compel them to be mindful of our fundamental rights,’ he told Mosaique Guinee.