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Payment deadline for Tanzanian telcos US$3.4 million fine draws closer

Payment deadline for Tanzanian telcos US.4 million fine draws closer

The three-month payment deadline handed to six mobile operators in Tanzania, fined a total US3 453 425 by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) for failure to comply with SIM card registration regulations, will expire in less than 24 hours.

The TCRA announced the monetary value of each operator's fine in July following the findings of an investigation it carried out in December 2016.

James Kilaba, Director General at TCRA said all the operators sanctioned had 12 weeks to settle the fines or face additional and harsher penalties.

"Operators involved in the investigation were Airtel (T) Ltd, Benson Informatics Ltd (trading as SMART), MIC (T) Ltd (trading as Tigo), Vodacom Tanzania PLC, Zanzibar Telecom Ltd (ZANTEL), and Viettel Tanzania Limited (trading as Halotel)," said Kilaba in a statement issued by TCRA.

He added that the Regulator discovered various SIM card related breaches including the sale and registration of SIM cards without the mandatory required owner's identity cards, registering SIM cards with unauthorised identity cards and registering SIM cards without taking photos of subscribers.

Only one confirmed settlement

Vodacom Tanzania is the only telco that has confirmed to ITWeb Africa that it has paid its fine of TZS 945,000,000 as well as TZS 472,500,000 for repeat offences at the beginning of this week.

Vodacom leads the telecom subscription market with 31% share of the market, according to statistics released by TCRA in June 2017

Airtel Tanzania Limited has not confirmed whether it has settled the TZS 1,085,000,000, as well as an additional TZS 542,500,000 fine for repeat offences that it was ordered to pay.

The TZS 75,000,000 and TZS 37,500,000 fines for failure to comply with previous orders that was imposed on Benson Informatics Limited (trading as Smart) have also not been confirmed as paid.

MIC Tanzania Limited (trading as Tigo) had also been fined TZS 1,305,000,000 as well as an additional TZS 652,500,000 for repeat offences, both of which are yet to be confirmed as paid.

Zanzibar Telecom Limited (trading as Zantel) and Viettel Tanzania Limited (trading as Halotel) are set to pay TZS 105,000,000 and TZS 1,645,000,000 respectively for their contraventions, in addition to TZS 52,500,000 and TZS 822,500,000 each for repeated failure to comply with Tanzania's SIM card registration laws.

No confirmation has been received as to whether the two telcos have met their obligation to the TCRA on this final working day of the payment period.

All the operators had been ordered to pay a further TZS 500,000,000 "for compromising and endangering public security."

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