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Econet cuts off NetOne operator over 20m unpaid fees

By Reuters

Zimbabwe's largest mobile telecoms operator Econet Wireless said on Thursday that it had cut services to state-owned NetOne after a dispute over $20 million in outstanding interconnection fees.

Econet-Wireless-Everything-Everywhere-logos-web

Interconnection fees are charged by mobile operators to enable calls to be transmitted from each other's networks.

Econet, which has more than 70 percent of the Zimbabwe market with 6.5 million subscribers, said in a statement that NetOne owed the fees from 2009 and had this month told Econet that it was not obliged to pay the fees.

"As a direct result of the repudiation, Econet regrets that, from Thursday August 23, it will have no choice but to terminate all interconnection services it was providing to NetOne," Econet said.

The move will disrupt thousands of subscribers making calls across the two networks. (Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by David Goodman)