The Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA) reportedly fined Econet Telecom Lesotho LSL1.5 million ($89,932) for submitting its operator licence renewal application late.
The LCA demands licence renewals be filed at least two years before the expiry of a licence, Econet was apparently meant to file its renewal on October 11, 2019 which will expire next year, reported the Lesotho Times.
The operator agreed to pay the fine by December this year after applying for a condonation, said LCA CEO, Mamarame Matela.
“Econet was also unable to submit its audited financial statements in terms of the conditions of its licence 90 days after the end of their financial year, which ended in February 2020. The matter is still before the authority”, added Matela.
She also revealed Econet requested the authority explain how it will spend its LSL515 million loan from the government in the event its licence is not renewed, and how the money was used for infrastructure expansion.
The regulator also plans to open up Lesotho’s telecoms sectors to new service providers by making available more operator licences, to compete against the dominant duopoly of Econet and Vodacom.
In a statement to the Lesotho Times, an Econet spokesperson said: “There is nothing much to say except that we are already addressing these issues with the LCA”.
The LCA was also in a legal dispute with Vodacom Lesotho, which was threatened with its licence being stripped over an “excessive fine” totalling LSL40.2 million.