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Mobile phone connection across the divide hits another hurdle

11 February 2016

Unification of mobile telephony grids in South Cyprus and the TRNC has fallen at the last fence because of political complications.

In a news conference on Tuesday, South Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry head Phidias Pilides said the effort to unify the two grids, initially agreed between Presidents Anastasiades and Akinci as a confidence-building measure, may not proceed under current conditions.

This is because in a move to bring Cyprus in line with EU legislation, a law was passed in 2004 which “prohibits a telecommunications company regulated by the authority of an EU-member state to collaborate with non-licensed organisations”.

“Telecommunication companies operating in the occupied areas are not licensed by a recognised regulatory body,” he added.

Given the existing situation, Pilides said, the only way to unify the mobile telephony grids is a “dual SIM card” system, which would identify and switch between providers once the user crosses over between South Cyprus and North Cyprus. However, the cost of this system was probative, Pilides said.

Cyprus Mail

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