Concerted efforts are underway to connect mobile telephone networks across the Green Line, the Greek Cypriot representative on the bicommunal technical committee Phidias Pilides told the Cyprus News Agency on Friday .
The link is one of the confidence building measures agreed by President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci last month.
The UN had said at the time that the two leaders had decided to implement the confidence-building measure regarding mobile phone interoperability through separate agreements of the operators on both sides with a hub based in Europe, in order to facilitate greater interaction between the two communities.
The technical committee earlier this week met a delegation from the international telecommunications company Comfone, a company based in Switzerland which provides mobile roaming, inter-carrier, and hub-based services to telecom operators worldwide.
Pilides said Comfone representatives had separate meetings with the operators on both sides and discussed technical issues. It is now up to each company to decide whether it wants to go ahead or not.
The idea of using a hub abroad to serve as an intermediary sidesteps the obstacle of direct agreements with non-recognised companies.
Pilides acknowledged that the issue was not an easy one. Discussions have been ongoing for four years and it remains to be seen whether the latest option — that of a hub abroad — would overcome obstacles.
Although there is no deadline, the issue was pressing he added and the Technical Committee was on standby to move forward as soon as there is progress.