Russian backed cellco MTS Uzbekistan has had its licence suspended by Uzbek regulatory authorities and has ceased operations, reports UzDaily. MTS has been accused of a series of technical violations as well as a number of money laundering charges. Parent company Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has called the suspension ‘groundless’ and has told customers that it will do its best to solve the issue. In the interim, however, the cellco’s nearly ten million subscribers have reportedly been flocking to other operators. As previously noted by CommsUpdate, the situation echoes MTS’s recent experience in Turkmenistan, where the company had its licence suspended by the government for more than a year before finally renegotiating terms with authorities. The government shakedown is also similar to other raids on foreign-owned companies that have ultimately led to closure, with their assets handed to a member of Uzbekistan’s ruling elite.
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