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Mali fines Orange's local unit $14 million for use of mobile bandwidth

BAMAKO (Reuters) - Telecommunications regulators in Mali have fined Orange's local unit 6.86 billion CFA francs ($14.23 million) for illegally using mobile bandwidth for a fixed-line service, a charge Orange has said it will challenge.

The firm was informed of the fine in a May 22 letter but it was only made public at the weekend by Choguel Maiga, managing director of the AMRTP regulator.

The regulator accused Orange of breaking Malian telecoms rules by using a mobile phone platform for its "Douba" fixed line service.

Sekou Drame, Orange Mali's deputy managing director, on Monday rejected the accusation that the firm had broken any rules and said it would appeal.

"Orange Mali would not allow itself to break the law in Mali," he told journalists in Bamako. "The 'Douba' service is regularly offered to clients in line with the rules that govern this sector."($1 = 482.0550 CFA francs)

(Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Daniel Flynn)

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