Airtel goes Orange
Orange Mobile Company yesterday officially took over Airtel Sierra Leone at NATCOM headquarters at Hill Station in Freetown.
It could be recalled that Airtel Sierra Leone first established in Sierra Leone as Celtel Mobile Company before it was taken over by another company called Zain. Zain was again taken over by Airtel Sierra Leone until yesterday when the Orange Mobile Company officially took over the company in grand style.
The Chairman of the National Telecommunication Commission (NATCOM), Mr. Momoh Konte, officially signed the documents of Airtel handing over their ownership of the mobile company to Orange Company.
The Chairman stressed in his statement that the new company should maintain the entire workforce of the Airtel Sierra Leone except when any of the workers commit labour crimes that would warrant their dismissal.
He disclosed that according to the agreement signed, all telecommunication facilities belonging to Airtel should remain intact and in operations until 2017.
Mr. Konte warned that the new mobile operators should not increase their airtime tariffs, a concern that was raised by many stakeholders at the Bintumani Hotel in a consultative meeting organized by NATCOM prior to the official taking over to get the views of consumers with reference to the request made by mobile operators to increase the airtime tariff.
During the consultative meeting, customers raised many concerns regarding the airtime tariff, but the new company assured the public of maintaining the old airtime tariff. Adding everything would remain as they are until 2017 before they would get off the Airtel brand into their own brand format nationwide.
The Managing Director of all the GSM Operators and Internet Service Providers advocated on behalf of the Mobile Operators for increase in the prizes of ‘Airtime Tariff’ due to the Dollar rate in the country.
The occasion was climaxed by the signing of documents by both parties and their legal representatives.
BY VIKTOR TUTU ROGERS:
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