Russian mobile giant Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has announced that the Turkmen authorities are to suspend the licence of its local mobile network operator, MTS Turkmenistan, for a month, Reuters reports. MTS claims that it has not been given a reason for the suspension by the Turkmen Ministry of Communications (MoC), and it is understood that the concession will be suspended for a month from 21 December 2010. Speculating on the government’s decision, Reuters cites a source close to one of the parties involved as saying: ‘It may mean that the Turkmen authorities would like to change the terms of the agreement.’ MTS Turkmenistan’s current licence is due to expire on 1 February 2012, and commenting on the recent development its parent company noted: ‘The company is currently considering all available options, including potential legal action, and shall vigorously defend its legal rights and investment interests … MTS management is taking active steps to clarify the situation but no explanation, including in relation to the alleged breaches by MTS, has been given by either the government of Turkmenistan or its ministry of communications.’
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