Gone are the days when indifference to the regulator’s injunctions was common in Togo among mobile and internet operators, and when threats of penalties remained dead letters or produced no effect. After twenty-three years of existence, the former ART-P (Regulatory authority for the postal and telecommunications sectors) gave birth to the Electronic communications and postal regulatory authority (Arcep). And the situation has changed.
Operational since October 2020, the institution directed by the engineer Michel Yaovi Galley strives to establish the conditions for healthy and fair competition on the market, and to control the obligations listed in the specifications of operators of networks and services open to the public.
In less than two years, the authority has initiated no less than six sanction procedures for breaches and violations of commitments against Togo Cellulaire and Togo Télécoms, subsidiaries of Togocom (51% owned by the Axian group) and Moov Africa Togo. In fact, the former public operator, Togo Cellulaire was fined two fines, one in 2021 of one billion CFA francs (1.5 million euros) for intra- and extra-network tariff differentiation, and another of nearly 2.4 billion CFA francs (3.6 million euros), at the end of last June, for unavailability of services.
Telecoms: Axian again under regulatory pressure with Togocom
In May 2021, Moov Africa was inflicted nearly of A fine of 594 million CFA francs for non-compliance with the obligation of permanent, continuous and regular availability of mobile electronic communications services. The two mobile operators have three to six months to comply with their obligations under penalty of a fine for recidivism.
>>> Read on Africa Business+ : Togocom (Axian) will not appeal the fine imposed by the regulator
In this battle for the quality and availability of services, the telecoms policeman is also working to lower the prices charged by Togolese operators, who remain among the most expensive in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA). According to a comparative analysis it published in early February, rates are up to 25 times more expensive in Togo than the best prices in the Union on 100% data plans, and four times more expensive for 100% voice.