Kenyas largest telecommunications operator, Safaricom, faces a fine of Sh449 million ($4.47 million) fine for failing to connect smaller firms.

Reuters reports that the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) imposed the fine on the company, which, if confirmed, would be the largest ever imposed by Kenya’s telecoms regulator.

Safaricom is accused of blocking calls to Elige Communications, a rival, while at the same time failing to respond to the company's queries over the issue.

CA, in a letter to Safaricom, termed the act as "a blatant disregard of not only other licensees’ rights but also the Authority’s directives and in contravention of license conditions."

Flouting licence conditions

Safaricom, however, denied any non-compliance accusations with the regulator, and accused Elige of flouting its licence conditions by carrying international traffic instead of local calls.

“It is illegal to allow such international voice traffic to be terminated by a locally licensed operator into another network through the local interconnection link,” Safaricom wrote in a letter of reply.