Subject: East Timor government to liberalise telecommunications by start of 2011

East Timor government to liberalise telecommunications by start of 2011 [ 2010-05-12 ]


Dili, East Timor, 12 May ­ The telecommunications market in East Timor will be liberalised by the end of the year or beginning of 2011, the Timorese deputy prime minister said in Dili Tuesday.

José Luís Guterres said that there was a consensus within the Council of Ministers on the matter following the definition of the aim of liberalising telecommunications some time ago .

“Now we need to approve specific laws to regulate the entry of other operators and there are at least two companies that have shown interest: Ireland’s Digicel and Indonesia’s Telecomcel,” he said.

Guterres gave assurances that the government had kept Timor Telecom informed of the steps it planned to take, taking into consideration that its main shareholder, Portugal Telecom, had risked investing at a time of uncertainty.

The chief executive of Timor Telecom, Manuel Amaro, noted meanwhile that his company had exclusivity on the fixed and mobile network until 2017, based on the concession contract signed with the Timorese state.

Portugal Telecom (76.14 percent), Fundação Oriente (5.96 percent) and Fundação São José/Baucau Diocese (17.90 percent) share the capital of Telecomunicações Públicas de Timor (TPT), which has a majority share of Timor Telecom (TT).

At Timor Telecom share capital is owned by TPT (54.01 percent), Vodate (16.90 percent), Timor State (20.59 percent), Júlio Alfaro Óscar Lima and Timorese businesspeople (4.25 percent each).

The current concession contract, until 2015, was signed in 2002, following the launch of an international public tender the previous year, and Timor Telecom began operating in March, 2003. (macauhub)

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