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Togo regulator warns telcos to improve services, or get fined

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Togo's telecom regulator has warned the country's two operators that they will face penalties if they don't improve quality of services to their customers.

This week, regulator ARCEP (Autorité de Régulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes) said that Moov Africa Togo and Togo Cellulaire (also known as Togocom) were not meeting regulatory compliance thresholds for mobile services.

Moov Africa Togo is part of Maroc Telecom Group and Togo Cellulaire is majority owned by Axian Group.

From November 2022 to January 2023, ARCEP carried out a national campaign to measure the quality of mobile services – for voice and Internet – which revealed a non-compliance rate of 63% for Moov Africa Togo and 51.4% for Togo Cellulaire.

"Faced with these serious and continuous violations combined with the weak improvement in the quality of service observed over the last eighteen months of around 5% for Moov Africa Togo and 8% for Togo Cellulaire, the General Management of ARCEP opened a sanction procedure on March 14, 2023 against Moov Africa Togo and Togo Cellulaire," the regulator said in a statement.

After considering the investigation report, the ARCEP Management Committee on May 31, 2023, decided to give formal notice to both operators and granted them six months to make investments and implement the necessary corrective actions to improve service quality or face "penalty of sanction."

Costly consequences

A year ago, Togocom received a fine of 2.3 billion West African CFA franc (US$3.7 million at the time) from ARCEP for "serious breaches" of its obligation to provide a continuous, uninterrupted mobile service to its customers.

In June 2022, Moov Africa Togo was also given a formal notice from ARCEP for similar service issues.

Togo's regulator found that Moov Africa Togo and Togo Cellulaire had non-compliance rates of 63% and 51.4% respectively for quality of mobile services.   (Source: Image by Freepik)
Togo's regulator found that Moov Africa Togo and Togo Cellulaire had non-compliance rates of 63% and 51.4% respectively for quality of mobile services.
(Source: Image by Freepik)

Togo is not the only country cracking down on bad services. This week, four mobile operators in Cameroon were fined 6 billion Central African Franc ($9.8 million) for poor network quality by the country's regulator.

Togocom is the country's biggest mobile operator with almost 3.8 million users at the end of March 2023, according to market research company Omdia, a sister company of Connecting Africa.

Moov Africa Togo wasn't far behind with about 2.8 million mobile users.

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*Top image source: created by Allexxandar - www.freepik.com.

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

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