REGULATOR SHUTS DOWN GSM OPERATOR IN SIERRA LEONE
Amidst protracted financial liabilities to numerous creditors and particularly failing to comply with payment of regulatory fees to the tune of two million US Dollars, Sierra Leone’s national regulatory authority of the telecom sector, the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM), has temporarily suspended the operations of Comium (SL) Ltd, one of the country’s registered GSM operators. Early this week, a team of Engineers and enforcement officers inspected the headquarters of the company in Freetown and shut down the network.
A combined team of NATCOM and Comium (SL) Ltd engineers in the server room during the switching off.
In a letter dated 10th October, 2014, the Commission outlined the conditions to be fulfilled by the penalized company for the suspension to be lifted. They include the following “full settlements of all financial liabilities with NATCOM and all other creditors in Sierra Leone; full payment of salaries and benefits of all employees of the company; payment of a security bond to be determined by the Commission; submission of Asset Registered; submission of Audited Accounts for 2013 and Management Accounts up to 13th October 2014; and the fulfillment of any other condition deemed necessary as the Commission may determine.”
The letter further warned of outright cancellation of the company’s licence in the event of failure to comply fully with the set conditions; and the possibility of Government probe into the circumstances leading to the messy financial situation of the company.