UTL Chairman: We are Ready to Negotiate With Airtel On Interconnection Fees

UTL Board Chairman Patrick Kaboyo addressing journalists on Monday.(PHOTO BY Kenneth Kazibwe)

Uganda Telecom (UTL) board chairman Patrick Kaboyo has described as unfortunate, viagra buy the decision by fellow telecommunication company Airtel Uganda to terminate phone call services between the subscribers of the 2 companies.

In a statement issued this morning, doctor Airtel Uganda   announced that effective Friday February 3, their subscribers would not be able to make calls to or receive calls from Uganda Telecommunications Limited (UTL) after termination of interconnection agreement and interconnection services between the 2 companies.

Addressing journalists at his office in Kampala on Monday afternoon, Kaboyo said that the country’s oldest   telecommunication company is willing to engage in round table talks with Airtel to amicably solve the impasse he said stems way back.

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“Negotiations have been going on as far as 2015 and to us it has come as a surprise for Airtel to decide to go public about it,” Kaboyo said.

“In telecom business we interconnect and this particular case is fully known to the regulator who has been in the know for some time.”

Kaboyo said the company is ready to involve in negotiations with Airtel Uganda and ensure the matter is solved so that customers of both companies are not affected by the new development.

“If they took that route, it will hurt and impact us as a business. It will erode confidence of customers in our brand but we are willing to sit on a round table to solve it. We hope the regulator (UCC) jumps onto it to help us sort it out. ”

Kaboyo explained that the said debts that led to today’s termination stem many years back when UTL started facing problems but said that over the years, they have tried to service these debts.

Last year, Parliament agreed to institute a forensic audit committee to look into the accounts of the debt-ridden company as well as reports of financial impropriety by top managers.

Kaboyo revealed that recently, stakeholders plus government sat and agreed to start a 3 year plan that would see it upgraded, revamped and turned out with an in-put of a huge sum of money.

“They agreed to invest in UTL and we think in the next couple of months we will begin our journey towards the turnaround of the business,” he said stressing that they are willing to see an increase on the 6% market share the company has in terms of customers in the country’s telecommunication industry.

Uganda’s oldest telecommunications company was privatized in 1998 leading UCOMTelecel to acquire 51%shares and government walking way with 49% of the total shares.

By November last year, UTL owed Shs 58 Billion to tax body URA, Shs 8 Billion to MTN and Shs22 billion to Uganda Communications Commission.

According to Airtel,Uganda Telecom Limited owes them over Shs 8 billion arising from unpaid interconnect fees and leased line services offered by the former.



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