Swaziland’s leading landline service provider Swaziland posts and telecommunications Corporation (SPTC) has started switching off all its fixed wireless services after losing a legal battle to provide services alongside the country’s monopoly telecommunications operator MTN.
In a statement, the company said it would negotiate with MTN to find a solution that will restore sanity in the telecom industry. The company’s objective is to participate in a free and fair competition market to offer quality services targeted at improving the country’s socio-economic status which would lead to positive impact to people’s lives.
SPTC and MTN partnered in 1998, MTN Swazi was granted to offer monopoly services in the mobile category. Last year, SPTC started offering mobile services. MTN took the matter to court and won.
Following the International Court of Arbitration orders, landline operator SPTC earlier this week started to disconnect the Fixed One and data service to adhere to International Court of Arbitration orders.
However, SPTC is engaging in negotiations with MTN to offer landline and international services so that the market may be open to other network operators as competitors.
Late last month, the SPTC employees under the umbrella body of Swaziland Communications and Allied Workers Union (SWACAWU) termed Joint Venture Agreement claims (JVA) in 1998 as null and void.
SWACAWU has dismissed the issue of agreement and branded it as unconstitutional from the SPTC that is parallel with the five competing organization that includes SPTC, MTN Holdings, MTN Africa, Swazi Empowerment and Swazi MTN.
In an affidavit, SWACAWU President, Innocent Ngcobo noted that the provisions of the JVA fl violated the provisions of the SPTC Act of 1983 establishing SPTC. The issue is in court pending for ruling.
SPTC however says it is engaging in negotiations with MTN to offer landline and international services as it will open the market to other network operators as competitors.