Telsim Vodafone and North Cyprus Turkcell have both signed agreements with communications network Comfone in Switzerland to start the process for mobile phone operability across the island, Meltem Onurkan Samani, General Coordinator for Political Affairs and Special Advisor to the Bi-communal Technical Committee has said.
The main objective of this step is to enhance communications across the divide as part of confidence building measures (CBM), said Samani.
She told a reporter that in 2015, both Cypriot community leaders, Mustafa Akinci and Nicos Anastasiades had agreed to this CBM and another one to link up the electricity grids, but the Greek Cypriot side was not prepared to operate mobile phone connectivity throughout the island. However, on 26 February, this year, it was agreed that both side’s mobile phone operators would sign separate agreements with a European hub company to overcome political and legal issues.
After four years, the Greek Cypriot side announced its readiness to make this move towards the end of last week. A high-level meeting, which was chaired by President Akinci and attended by the representatives of the mobile phone operators and the Information and Communication Technologies Authority, were asked to sign on 27 May. The meeting also demanded the implementation of this Confidence Building Measure, which would facilitate the daily life of people on both sides at the earliest, technically possible, time.