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Econet lashes out at Nitel over interconnect

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa-Econet Wireless Nigeria has blamed the interconnection problems experienced by local GSM operators on the fixed network operator Nitel.

Zachary Wazara, Econet chief executive officer, said Nitel is not revealing the truth concerning the 18 nairas (US$0.14) charged per minute and that Nitel is not following the internationally accepted standard of charging at a ratio of 60:40.

Wazara stated that at the inception of GSM service in Nigeria, the operators had agreed on a fee of 18 nairas per minute. However, Econet believes that since the start of the Nitel GSM operation, the fixed-line operator has realized it cannot maintain profits at this ratio and has now dropped the price to 12 nairas (US$0.09), at a ratio reported to be 80:20.

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