Russia-based operator group MTS has started dismantling its network infrastructure in Turkmenistan, having been unable to resolve differences with authorities in the country, Eurasianet reported.
The operator suspended services in the country in September 2017, claiming it had been left unable to continue following the actions of authorities and state-run organisations.
The news publication’s source stated the tear-down of the MTS network had started in December and would take months to complete.
MTS has been sporadically at loggerheads with officials in the country since re-entering the market in 2012. In July 2018, the operator began legal action in an attempt to claw back what it claimed was $750 million in lost investments.
In its complaint at the time, MTS blamed actions of the Government, ministry of communications and other state-run organisations for forcing its exit. Among the grievances were accusations it had been blocked from accessing international and long-distance zonal communications services supplied by third parties.
MTS previously suspended operations in Turkmenistan for two years in 2010 after a row with regulators related to licencing.
The departure of MTS leaves TMCell as the only operator in the country, with 4.6 million connections, according to GSMA Intelligence figures. Prior to closing operations MTS held a 30 per cent share of the market.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back