The regulator in Ivory Coast has taken drastic action against what it sees as poor service in the country’s mobile market – withdrawing the licence of Café Mobile with further cuts to the remaining operators also promised.
“There are seven licences. We aim to cut the number of mobile operators and keep only those who are performing very well,” said Diemeleou Bile, the head of the country’s regulatory authority, according to Reuters.
A number of licences are up for renewal next year, he said.
The country has a relatively high number of licences for a market with a population of only about 24 million.
Existing operators include Orange and MTN — the clear market leaders — followed by Etisaslat’s Moov and Koz, a unit of Lebanese firm Comium.
Remaining operators Green and Café Mobile both have fewer than one million subscribers. Warid Telecom holds an unused licence.
Café Mobile’s service has been turned off, and its subscribers notified of the change.
This is not the first time the regulator has taken action. It fined all mobile operators a total of $8 million after audits in 2013 and this year.