Uzbekistan suspends MTS-Uzbekistan licence
Uzbekistan, Tashkent, July 17 /Trend D.Azizov/
The Uzbek Agency for Communication and Information (UzACI) has decided to suspend the licence of the operator of the Uzbek company Uzdunrobita, fully owned by the Russian Open Society Mobile Telesystems (MTS).
UzACI suspended a licence issued to the Uzdunrobite in 2004 'on the right to engage in the activities of design, construction, operation and services of mobile radiotelephone (cellular) communications'.
It was noted that the licence will be suspended from 18:00 Tuesday for 10 working days.
This decision was made in accordance with Article 22 of the Law of Uzbekistan 'on licensing of separate kinds of activity for repeated and systematic gross violations and failure to comply with the requirements of supervisory authority', the report said.
On July 9, Uzdunrobita, a subsidiary of the Russian Open Society Mobile Telesystems (MTS) in Uzbekistan, temporarily shut off 208 base stations as prescribed by the State Communication Inspection (SCI) of Uzbekistan.
SCI has brought to the attention of subscribers that the cellular service provider claims that 'fibre-optic communication lines laid through the conduit running between switching stations are operating without proper commissioning of the acceptance committee'.
In late June SCI sent Uzdunrobita a notice of possible revocation of a licence in connection with the illegal exploitation of equipment and subscriber complaints on the quality of communication. At the request of the SCI, Uzdunrobita on June 25 cut off 48 base stations.
The company closed head office of sales and service of the company on July 13.
The General Prosecutor's Office filed a criminal case against some of the operator's officials. During an unplanned check which has been conducted for three months, additional evidence of gross violations of law were found involving the unlawful cashing of large sums of money, laundering of income derived from criminal activity, exercise of an activity without a licence, tax evasion and other matters.
Uzdunrobita was formed in August 1991 and became the first cellular phone company in Uzbekistan. In August 2004, Uzdunrobita became part of OJSC Mobile TeleSystems. Following the rebranding conducted in June 2006, the company provided services under the brand name of MTS-Uzbekistan.
Network coverage of the company, the largest mobile operator in Uzbekistan, is covering more than 94 per cent of the population of the republic. The number of subscribers stood at 9.5 million in 2011.