Uganda Telecom (UTL) board chairman Patrick Kaboyo has described as unfortunate, the decision by fellow telecommunication company Airtel Uganda to terminate phone call services between the subscribers of the two companies.
In a statement issued this yesterday, 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 the media 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.
“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.”
“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.
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.