Vodacom has confirmed that it has initiated legal proceedings against against voice and bulk SMS carrier, firm Telfree, seeking an amount of R54 million in unpaid fees for carrying messages across its network.
Similarly, rival operator, MTN has also commenced arbitration proceedings with Telfree, although the group did not comment on the amount it is seeking from the firm.
Telfree is a privately-owned group of companies headquartered in Switzerland, and has positioned itself to penetrate the ‘last growth market’ – namely, Africa and other emerging markets, with its largest operations in South Africa.
Vodacom said that it had initiated proceedings earlier this month, seeking R54 million for unpaid services, namely carrying SMSes on its network.
In March, MTN received an interim order granted in favour of voice and bulk sms carrier, Telfree, after the operator denied it access to its network. MTN is heading back to court soon, said Fusi Mokoena, GM: Commercial Legal at MTN.
Telfree CEO, Walter Betschel told ITWeb in March that MTN and Telfree could not reach an interconnect agreement that would settle the charge to Telfree when it sent SMSes to people who were MTN subscribers.
MTN said at the time that it would not elaborate on the charges, noting that it did not wish to conduct its defence through the media.
BusinessTech could not reach Telfree for comment.