-Over Impending Suspension Of ‘Three Days Free Call’
By R. Joyclyn Wea
The Civil Law Court has summoned the Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) over threats against Orange Liberia.
The Court mandate is predicated upon a complaint of Judicial Review by Orange GSM Company against the Liberia Telecommunication Authority for alleged threat against the company
According to the Company, LTA is imposing surcharges and price floors on services in the sector which is unfair.
The Court further ordered LTA to file it’s answere to the complaint on or before April 25, 2019, to show caused why the court should not grant the request made by Orange Liberia.
Failure on the part of LTA to adhere to the court’s mandate, a default judgement will be brought down against the Authority
Accordingly, Orange want the Court to immediately order LTA to suspend enforcement of its Order and actions against it pending determination of the matter.
“They emphasized that the Liberia Telecommunication Authority be ordered to scrap its command as if it never issued similar order before.”
Orange GSM wants the Court to rule against LTA , legally prohibited from unilaterally and abrogating the laws of Liberia touching on the subject that is exercise of power to impose surcharges and price floors on services in the sector.
Orange is a GSM Company in Liberia, established and operating under the laws of Liberia, authorized to engage in and provide full wireless internet services, cellular GSM, cell phone and other related telecommunications services to the people of all backgrounds.
Orange GSM Company as part of its telecommunications services, said it came into existence by buying out its predecessor, Cellcom Telecommunications Incorporated including all facilities and licenses issued to Cellcom by the Government of Liberia.
According to Orange, LTA in October 2018 initiated a stakeholder’s consultation process to which they (Orange) and others were invited for the purpose of evaluating LTA intention to implement floor prices and surcharges on net-voice calls and data.
Orange said while it still not agree to the implementation of floor prices on the services it provides and in discussion with LTA, the latter elected to place additional fee to its services by imposing surcharges for on-net minute and megabyte thereby exacerbating the problem affecting the consultation process and clearly without regard to the several reservations it has made in numerous letters.
It further claimed that the LTA issued out its regulation captioned LTA Order: 0016-02-25-19 “Establishing Price Floors for On Net Voice and Data Services and a Regulatory Fee on Telecommunications Goods and Services” which was dated February 25, 2019, and insisted that same shall take effect on April 15, 2019.
The action of the LTA being a public interest matter as it affects the common people of Liberia who also have extensive communication needs.
Orange said, after LTA had a meeting with the honorable House of Representatives through its Committee on Posts & Telecommunications; meanwhile, the Legislature instructed it (LTA) to “Provisionally cut off imposing additional surcharges on all local calls until the Committee and the Board of Commissioners (BoC) hold a consultative meeting.”
The complainant said LTA having taken affirmative actions to effect the Order now proceeding to hold them (Orange) as violators to their order and the laws of Liberia.
Meanwhile, both parties are expected to appear before the Civil Law Court this March Term of Court to convince the judge.
The New Republic Newspaper is an independent newspaper established in 2009 by a Liberian journalist, Alphonso Toweh with many years of experience for the key purpose of reporting a balanced coverage of events as well as promoting Liberia’s image locally and internationally.
Toweh has been working for Reuters News Agency as its correspondent since 1998 to present. In addition to that, he has served as correspondents for the following magazines: West Africa New African, Africa Week and African Observer.
More to that, he worked for Radio Deutche Welle radio in Germany, Radio Netherlands and contributed to CNN, BBC News hour, BBC TV as well as Africa Confidential and Sunday Times in London.
The paper has no political affiliation nor ethic lineage. The focus and primary commitment is to ensure the sovereignty of Liberia and unity for Africa. It seeks to foster human rights and freedom of the press.
The New Republic is a liberal paper dedicated to upholding the tenets of democracy. It believes that state can not only create the political, social, economic and cultural spirit, but also to ensure that all human beings, irrespective of any affiliation is able to achieve its highest human potentials.
The paper strives for free speech and equal opportunity for all. Importantly, it believes that the nation must intervene judiciously in the economic life, in order to minimise the adverse effects of free enterprise and ensure that less privileged people have reasonable and fair access to the basic necessities of life. By this, it would help reduce some level of threat.
New Republic brings huge commitment to its readers and offers the nation the type of media that will advocate for the people and nudge our nation on the path of development and social re-engineering