Guinea is the latest African country in which a telecoms regulator has seen fit to step in over allegations of unacceptable quality of service by an operator.
In this case, following what local press reports have called numerous inconveniences and breaches affecting to its subscribers, Orange Guinea has been fined 9.5 billion GNF (approximately $1.1 million) by l'Autorité de Régulation des Postes et Télécommunications (ARPT).
ARPT cited disruption of the Orange Guinea network from June 30 to July 1 2022 and suggested in a press release that this had made several services unavailable over a 30-hour period, including SMS, Orange Money, E-Recharge, and some notifications through USSD codes.
ARPT also seems to be offering help to Orange Guinea subscribers financially impacted during the downtime, saying that all regulatory provisions have been made for their reimbursement.
There doesn’t appear to have been a response from the operator as yet.
According to TeleGeography's CommsUpdate Ousame Keita, chairman of the Guinean Consumers’ Association (UCG), welcomed ARPT’s decision and suggested that this was the first time an operator in the country had been subjected to such a heavy fine.
ARPT is not the only African regulator getting involved in quality of service issues lately. As we reported in these pages, a similar penalty was imposed on Togo’s Togocom by regulator ARCEP for breaches of its service obligation about a month ago and, last December, Senegalese regulator ARTP fined all three of the country’s mobile providers for failing to meet obligations relating to quality of service and coverage.