Calls to liberalise telecommunications market in Guyana
Digicel looking to service more remote areas but is hindered by the need to develop roads.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Wednesday February 15, 2012 – Telephone company Digicel is hoping the Guyana government will consider liberalizing the country’s telecommunications sector.
Speaking during the country’s fifth anniversary celebrations recently, chief executive officer, Gregory Dean said DIgicel had invested more than US$70 million so far in Guyana, and had 90 per cent population coverage.
He added that the country also boasts of having upgraded services, network and data, and disclosed plans for even more expansion in coming years.
But he said, this could only be achieved with a level playing field as it relates to international services and calls. Dean revealed that Digicel had plans for expansion, but progress was halted by the slow process of liberalization.
This, he said, has resulted in the company paying significant sums to the international service provider, Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company Limited (GT&T), for international services, since Digicel has to make those calls through GT&T.
Deane also gave the assurance that the company will continue to carry out network maintenance and upgrades on its existing network as it strives to bring cellular service to areas which once did not have service.
As it relates to expansion, Digicel is looking at even more remote areas but is being hindered by the need to develop some roads. As a result, the CEO said the phone company often resorted to going off the main roads by as much as two to three miles to set up its towers.
Dean added the rough terrain in some of the hinterland regions resulted in the company experiencing difficulty providing electricity for its sites, but noted that challenge was overcome with the implementation of solar panels.