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N Touch
Saturday 24 March 2018

TATT dials for 3rd cell provider

THE Telecommunications Authority (TATT) is in the process of finalising plans to invite bids for a third mobile provider to compete against the other two — State-owned TSTT’s bmobile and Irish company Digicel.

The announcement was made yesterday by Public Administration Minister Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan during the launch of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) at TATT head office in Barataria.

TATT chief executive officer Cris Seecharan said that so far, there has been some indication of interest, mostly from international players and one local company. The project has been posted on the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) website as a potential project and he expects interest will be shown through that avenue. The formal invitation however, will take place within the next few weeks.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar previously expressed Government’s interest in introducing a third mobile provider on April 6, 2011 during her address at a Public Sector Leaders Forum in Washington, USA.

According to Seepersad-Bachan yesterday, her Ministry recommended several amendments to the Communications Act to Cabinet and they are being considered. She stated that the objectives of the reform are to discourage destructive competitive behaviour, encourage investment, innovation and consumer confidence.

“If accepted, they will strengthen the legal and regulatory framework for provision of telecommunications and broadcasting services in TT,” she said. “The amendments will increase investment and deepen competition in the entire telecommunication and broadcast sector.”

Seepersad-Bachan noted that Government has set up a Universal Service Fund (USF) to ensure everyone has access to basic telecommunications technologies, including telephone and Internet.

“The framework for this USF has already been completed and draft regulations will be taken to Cabinet soon,” she said. “These regulations will allow us to collect funds from telecom providers ands broadcasters and place these funds into the USF.” The money would be used to ensure widespread access to basic telecommunication services.


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