VODACOM: 12,575 -54 (-0.43%)
Congo court upholds suspension of Vodacom's 2G licence
* Govt suspended licence over dispute about cost of renewal
* Ministry says Vodacom has 3 months to negotiate licence
* Suspension does not affect 3G or 4G licences
(Adds Vodacom statement)
KINSHASA, June 17 (Reuters) - A court in Democratic Republic
of Congo upheld the government's suspension of Vodacom Group's
2G telecoms licence on Monday, the company and Congo's
telecommunications ministry said.
The Council of State ruled that Vodacom Congo must wait
three months to challenge the ministry's suspension of its 2G
license, the company said in a statement.
The ministry, which suspended the licence in April, says the
cost of renewing the licence is $65 million. Vodacom paid $16
million to renew it in 2015, a process the ministry says did not
follow proper procedures.
John Aluku, chief of staff to the telecommunications
minister, said Vodacom Congo now had three months to renegotiate
its 2G licence with the government before it goes up for
"The Congolese authorities and Vodacom Congo are engaged in
discussions to reach an amicable outcome," the company said.
"Vodacom recalls that it obtained the extension of its 2G
license in 2015 legally and in conformity with the laws and
regulations in effect at the time."
South Africa's Vodacom Group holds a 51% stake in Vodacom
The suspension does not affect Vodacom Congo's 3G or 4G
licences in Congo. It is not clear how many of its 12 million
customers only have access to 2G coverage.
(Reporting by Stanis Bujakera; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing
by Louise Heavens/David Goodman/Susan Fenton)
First Published: 2019-06-17 14:57:01
Updated 2019-06-17 17:07:04
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