“There should be no need to fear liberalisation”- Digicel to GTT


-Ironic that GTT is trying to portray itself as a consumer champion while frustrating attempts to provide competition.

Digicel Guyana believes that the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) should focus more on its customers and competition, instead of levelling allegations against the Irish Company and seeking to remove focus from the imminent liberalisation of the telecommunications sector.

In a statement today (Thursday, April 20, 2017), Digicel Guyana called out GTT on its claim that it “has the capacity to handle all of (the) country’s overseas traffic.” Digicel said, “if GTT believes it offers a superior level of services to consumers in Guyana, then there should be no need to fear liberalisation.”

The company which has been operating in Guyana for the past ten years added that it’s ironic that GTT is trying to portray itself as a consumer champion while doing everything in its power to frustrate attempts to provide competition and choice in the market.

Despite these challenges, Digicel said it has managed to compete efficiently and “prides itself on its innovation and on the standard and quality of its services” which it pledged to continue to fight to provide to the people of Guyana.

In its statement yesterday (Wednesday, April 19, 2017), GTT accused Digicel of owing “$30 million U.S. or more” in taxes to local authorities.

The Irish owned company has deemed those allegations “untrue,” stating categorically that it owes no taxes and is in good standing with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).

Digicel outlined that when it began providing services in Guyana in 2007, consumers saw up to 50% decrease in domestic call rates and access to new affordable handsets with no activation fees. It also pointed out that it began providing services in remote regions of Guyana, while even after being in Guyana for approximately 27 years, there are still areas even in Georgetown where customers are still waiting for service from GTT.

The company also outlined that it introduced mobile internet service via Blackberry in May 2007, something GTT only followed suit until 2011. It was also the company to make first moves to facilitate text messages between the two service providers.

The war of the competitors began earlier this year when GTT accused Digicel of engaging in illegal activities, noting that the Irish Company has been facilitating an “illegal, unlicensed trans-border link between Guyana and Suriname”. The Company then requested Government’s intervention but was met with the Ministry of Public Telecommunications questioning its ability to meet the demands of the local market.

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