Lone Star Exposes LTC Management


Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

September 15, 2004

The General Manager of the Lone Star Communication Corporation (LCC), Hassan Baydoum, has accused the Management of the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation (LTC) of collecting interconnection fees from his company but has failed to render such services.

Appearing before the National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA) Committee on Post and Telecommunications Special Hearing recently, to provide clarification on why LCC cannot interconnect with other phone companies, Mr. Baydoun said his corporation has been compelled by LTC to pay for forty channels some of which have not being used by the corporation.

He told the committee that although his corporation is not using all the channels, Lone Star is paying US$ 100 to the LTC per channel amounting to US$4,000.

He disclosed that his corporation is prepared to inter-face with other cell phone companies in the country but said that the “problem has been with the LTC switchboard which makes it difficult for the Lone Star to interconnect.

The LCC General Manager pointed out that there are plans by the corporation to extend its services to other parts of the country including Tubmanburg, Gbarnga, Ganta to afford people residing in these areas to benefit from its services.

He further informed the committee that his corporation’s strategy is to also reach in towns and villages, saying that during the early period of LCC’s operation in Liberia, it took into consideration the rural parts of the country to be connected by communication.

He challenged the LTC Managing Director, Joe Gballah, to prove that it is the Lone Star that failed to interconnect when in fact, it requested the LTC management to provide the corporation the opportunity that would lead to the interconnection but Lone Star is yet to do so.

For his part, the General Manager of Atlantic Wireless (Liberia) Incorporated (AWI), Azzam Sbaity, expressed similar statement but blamed the LTC for not interconnecting with other phone companies.
He averred that currently the AWI is conducting an interconnecting testing exercise which will begin operating hopefully by October 2004.

The NTLA Post and Telecommunications Chairman, Rep. Rennie Jackson, disclosed that the special hearing was to gather needed information that would lead to the successful operations of the telecommunication sector of the country.

He expressed the hope that all phone companies in Liberia will use the international 231 code which will enable Liberians in other parts of the world to communicate vie cell phone.

Rep. Jackson on behalf of his colleagues thanked cell phone companies for the level of services being provided the government and people of Liberia especially during this time of difficulties.

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by the Forum newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.