Congo court upholds suspension of Vodacom's 2G licence
KINSHASA, June 17 (Reuters) - A court in Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday upheld the government's suspension of the 2G telecoms licence of Vodacom Group's VODJ.J local unit, an official at the telecommunications ministry said.
John Aluku, the minister's chief of staff, said that the Council of State issued the judgment, which cannot be appealed.
Vodacom Congo has three months to renegotiate its 2G licence with the ministry before it goes up for auction, Aluku said. The ministry says the cost of renewing the licence is $65 million.
Vodacom, which holds a 51% stake in Vodacom Congo, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The South African company has previously rejected the ministry's claims that the renewal of its 2G licence in 2015 did not follow proper procedures.
The suspension does not affect Vodacom Congo's 3G or 4G licences in Congo. It is not clear how many of its 12 million customers only have access to 2G coverage.
(Reporting by Stanis Bujakera; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Louise Heavens and David Goodman)
((Aaron.Ross@thomsonreuters.com; +221 77 569 1702;))
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