Monday, May 7, 2012

Ethio Telecom investigates illegal telecom operations

Ethio Telecom is investigating illegal telecom operators that are receiving and disseminating international incoming calls to Ethiopia. Ethio Telecom has been recently informed that individuals are using different servers to receive incoming international calls. A senior official of Ethio Telecom told The Reporter that the company was investigating the case. “The identity of the individuals and their whereabouts is not yet identified,” the official said.

In the past few months, mobile subscribers have been receiving international calls from the US, Dubai and Saudi Arabia with Ethiopian mobile numbers.
Abdurahim Ahmed, corporate communication head with Ethio Telecom, told The Reporter that Ethio Telecom is aware of the scandal, adding that it was painstakingly investigating the case. “The servers could be located in neighboring countries,”Abdurahim said.

In 2003 a group of individuals who were involved in a similar illegal telecom were apprehended by the Ethiopian federal police. Those individuals used illegally imported VSATS to receive and relay incoming international calls to customers in Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian law allows only the formerly known as the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation and renamed as Ethio Telecom to provide telecom services. Private companies are permitted to provide resell services. Basic telecom services are reserved only for Ethio Telecom. The provision of basic telecom services by any individuals or companies is a punishable act.