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ARCEP fines Togocom USD3.7m for ‘serious breaches’

Togo’s telecom regulator, ARCEP, has imposed a 2.3 billion CFA fine on Togocel–2% of the mobile operator’s certified revenues. The regulator sanctioned Togocel for “serious breaches of its obligation to provide consumers with permanent availability” of mobile electronic communications services, observed since 2020.

The sanction comes 18 months after the ARCEP warned the operator, and a few days after the two parties met for a public audience. During the latter, held last Thursday, Togocel failed to convince the watchdog with its defense, blaming the disruptions on external factors or incidents.

Regarding these incidents, the ARCEP, which ruled based on data, claims that the disruptions “could have been avoided since they were not cases of force majeure.” It believes that “Togocel’s inability to improve the availability of its services is due to inefficient operational actions and weak investments in network infrastructure over the past two years.”

The ARCEP added that “Togo Cellular voluntarily interrupts its services in some remote parts of the country at specific times of the day with the sole purpose of cutting its operating costs without any concern for consumers.”

The regulator said these voluntary disruptions can add up to 25 days, in a month. However, it gave six months to Togocel to deal with the issue or risk facing new sanctions. TogoFirst

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