The general public could recall that the MGI contract for the exclusive management of the International Gateway was terminated on 7th July 2017 after a decision was taken by Cabinet to end the contract. Despite being a separate contract from the GAMCEL billing system, MGI retaliated with threats to disrupt the GAMCEL billing platform if not reconnected as an International Gateway carrier to all networks in the country. Also, GAMCEL was requested to make some payments to MGI in order to avert this disruption with limited notice period, which ended July 31st, 2017. Consequently, MGI started disrupting the billing system from August 7, 2017.
It is worthy to apprise the public that the billing system was acquired on behalf of GAMCEL and it is the most expensive ever for the company if not around the world. The billing platform cost millions of US dollars yet the company does not have total ownership and control over the system. This is a betrayal of trust through a scheme designed to control, blackmail and direct our decisions as a nation, while perpetuating MGI to continue the management of the International Gateway.
Unfortunately, the agreement that should have been in the name of GAMCEL was between MGI and REDKNEE on a build, operate, transfer (BOT) basis. Also, MGI signed another separate contract on the billing system with GAMCEL for the support services. The BOT agreement of the billing platform is yet to be provided by MGI after numerous follow-ups and could not be traced from either GAMCEL or GAMTEL.
The government has taken this attack as a deliberate attempt to sabotage the national communication system of the country, which is a clear threat to national security. We will not be cowed by this cowardice action and will not subdue to any such threats and/or blackmail. We will stand firm with the decision to terminate the MGI contract and we are more resolved today than before.
Finally, the general public is kindly requested to be patient and supportive to Gamcel while the company resolves the technical issues confronting its billing platform. Since, it won’t be safe to continue using a system that is vulnerable and prone to intrusion by MGI and other third parties, GAMCEL is exploring other options for a replacement billing system as soon as possible.
Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure
GRTS Bldg. MDI Road
12th August, 2017