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GTT eyes free calling applications; says company losing profits

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The Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) says it is not happy that the company is losing potential profits with the increased use of free calling apps including Whatsapp. This concern was raised by the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on Wednesday.

Over-the-top applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook, IMO and Skype or any service that provides a product over the Internet and bypasses GTT is now costing the company says CEO, Justin Nedd.

“WhatsApp is an over-the-top application. While it takes revenue from us, it will be trying to …to stop it. We actually give access to everybody who wants to use whatsapp so it is a matter of recognizing that this is eroding our revenue”, he told Commissioners of the PUC on Wednesday.

Nedd said with the decline in voice minutes on GTT’s network and bypass of some service providers who go around an external route rather than through GTT puts the company at a US 10-million-dollar loss as well.

The CEO said his company has the exclusive rights to terminate such traffic into Guyana that are not passing through their local system.

“We have an exclusive license to terminate international traffic into Guyana, that license is not being respected and there are other players that terminate traffic into Guyana and they see outside profits from it, whether they pay taxes, that is something that the authorities have to investigate. I can say that we don’t get money from that and that has really caused us to earned less than we budgeted for in a number of areas” Nedd told media operatives.

Vandalism is another cost factor Nedd said as GTT is faced with persons in the scrap metal industry targetting the company’s infrastructure in search for copper and iron.

According to the CEO fiber optic cables is an avenue being explored by the company since it can be considered theft proof, well at least for now.

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