(Ecofin Agency) - The Malagasy telecom regulator has suspended the 5G network launched by the telecom operator Telma. ARTEC announced the suspension after sealing all the operator’s 5G equipment, much to the latter’s discontent. ARTEC explained its decision saying that Telma overstepped its given boundaries to experiment with the technology.
On July 1, 2020, the mobile operator announced the commercial launch of its 5G services, in partnership with telecom equipment manufacturer Ericsson. The company said Madagascar would be “the first African country to benefit from the new generation of mobile connectivity.” However, ARTEC pointed out that Telma was not granted authorization to market 5G services on the Malagasy market, but rather a temporary authorization to experiment with the technology for one month.
"The use of 5G services is still in an experimental phase in Madagascar as in many member countries of the International Telecommunication Union,” the regulator explained in a statement.
Also, the experimentation permit granted to Telma was to be carried out indoors only, i.e. inside buildings but the telecom company finally extended it outdoors and on several sites without the prior approval of the telecom regulator.
However, Telma has published in the local press a strong statement denying the accusations. The operator said, “the information is wrong and therefore reserves the right to prosecute ARTEC for the irresponsible statement.”