The government of Tanzania has asked mobile operator Halotel (a local subsidiary of the Vietnamese telecom group Viettel) to stop the interconnection operation of its fiber network in Burundi, without its approval.
The warning, issued on October 7, 2019, follows the discovery of this irregularity by Atashasta Nditiye (photo), the Deputy Minister of Works, Transport and Communications, during a field inspection mission to Kabanga, a town on the border of the two countries.
According to Atashasta Nditiye, by directly interconnecting his fiber optic network with Burundi’s national fiber-optic network, Halotel has violated the procedure that only national fiber-optic networks are interconnected. It does not exclude that Halotel can connect Tanzania to Burundi by fiber optic, but this operation will then be done under the guise of NICTBB, the national system of broadband communication.
“I ask Halotel to use the NICTBB to expand its broadband fiber optic services in Burundi. They must follow the procedures established between the two countries, “ he said.
For Atashasta Nditiye, Halotel’s current option to break out of the NICTBB is not only likely to undermine state revenues, but also represents a security risk for Tanzania.