Turkish Cypriots are gearing up ahead of a much-awaited linkage of cellular networks between north and south, which could bring down costs considerably for local users.
According to Cyprus News Agency, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci held a conference with members of his administration and telephone providers in the north, following consultations ahead of much-anticipated phone interoperability between the two sides.
The two communities agreed that phone interoperability would be best achieved through local operators linking up through a hub in Europe
Turkish Cypriot providers reportedly briefed Swis-based international company Comfone over technical and administrative issues, with tests expected to be carried out in the following steps.
Earlier this year, the two communities agreed that mobile phone interoperability would be best achieved through telecoms operators from both sides linking up with a hub facility in Europe through separate agreements.
The move was widely described as a legally viable option, following objections in the south over proposed direct agreements with the north. Direct linkages were dismissed due to the Cyprus problem, where the north is not recognised internationally except by Turkey.
The linking of mobile networks between north and south were part of a series of confidence-building measures agreed in 2015. But the process failed to move forward due to political problems stemming from the Cyprus problem.