Cellular network operator Bell Benin Communication (BBCOM) has had equipment from its premises seized by the state broadcaster, the Office of Radio and Television of Benin (ORTB), reportedly as payment for a debt of XAF71 million (USD140,000) resulting from a contract between BBCOM and the ORTB that was ‘not honoured’, writes Agence Ecofin. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, locally-owned BBCOM is the second smallest of five GSM operators in the country by subscribers, although it has maintained growth recently, reaching a million users of its no-frills mobile services last year. The seizure on 20 September reportedly resulted in the government organisation ‘unintentionally’ removing equipment belonging to Channel3 Benin, a rival TV channel owned by BBCOM; officials were quoted as saying that the raid followed several unsuccessful attempts to recover the money owed from the cellco.
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