Telecel, ATC Ghana lock horns over alleged nonpayment of bills


    Ghana’s leading telecoms tower company, ATC Ghana says it has decided to unplug Telecel Ghana from power supply at a number of its tower stations across the country due to non-payment of bills. But Telecel has described the accusation as “utterly false”. 

    In a statement, ATC said “we deeply regret to inform residents and business users on the network of Telecel Ghana that they may experience some level of service disruption due to ATC Ghana’s lack of capacity to continue providing power supply to Telecel’s equipment, installed on a number of ATC Ghana’s tower sites, as a result of Telecel’s failure to satisfy its agreed obligations.”

    The statement said “This unfortunate decision has been taken following extensive negotiations with Telecel and notification to the National Communications Authority (NCA).”

    ATC Ghana said Telecel’s failure to meet their agreed obligations, it means ATC no longer has capacity to purchase electricity and diesel to service Telecel’s equipment, particularly where its agreements with Telecel have expired.

    This is not the first time ATC is having to unplug an operator for nonpayment of Bills. In 2022, it cut off two Internet Service Providers – Surfline and Busy Ghana for similar reasons. Surfline has since gone completely out operations, while Busy is still working a government SHS Wi-Fi contract with the support of other vendors.

    At the time of unplugging Surfline and Busy, Techfocus24 gathered that two of the three telcos, including Vodafone Ghana (now Telecel Ghana) also owed ATC.

    When Telecel took over the 70% Vodafone shares in Ghana Telecom, it came with a huge legacy debt of an estimated $150 million, including a legacy debt to vendors like ATC Ghana. It was expected that Telecel was going to pay off a significant part of that debt out of the $500 million they promised to invest in the network in the first three years.

    Months ago, Techfocus24 gathered that the indebtedness of two particular telecom operators to ATC was hampering the operations of the company.

    But ATC Ghana says it remains committed to working with all stakeholders for the continued growth of the telecommunications industry and it remains open to a mutually acceptable commercial solution with Telecel to facilitate restoration of services to Telecel’s equipment.

    Telecel denies

    Meanwhile, in a counter statement from Telecel Ghana, copied to Techfocus24, the company categorically denied owing ATC Ghana, describing the accusation as  utterly false.”

    “The issue has been escalated to the regulator, National Communications Authority (NCA) and is receiving the required attention,” it added. 

    Telecel Ghana insisted they it remains committed to its contractual obligations and assures its subscribers that it will take all measures to ensure service continuity.

    It then issued a subtle legal threat saying “Telecel Ghana reserves the right to use all lawful means to protect its brand and claim damages it will suffer as a result of the publication and any unlawful actions taken by ATC Ghana.”


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here