Trinidad & Tobago Operators Finally Agree to Interconnect Their Networks
Published on: 10th May 2008
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
After some two years of disputes, the two mobile operators in Trinidad & Tobago, Digicel and TSTT have finally signed an interconnection agreement allowing customers to make calls to users on the competing networks. The agreement was eventually facilitated by the arbitration panel set up by the Telecommunications Authority (TATT) to sort out the ongoing disputes.
Under the Agreement both companies have agreed to pay the same, ˘â‚¬Ëśreciprocal,' interconnect charges to each other, and also to retroactively pay each other for the interconnection services provided since inception. The companies expect these arrangements to go into effect within the next three weeks.
In addition, after several weeks of intense discussions the parties also signed an Agreement in relation to the sharing of space on their respective cellular towers. This paves the way for each party to place its telecommunication equipment on the towers of the other party thus avoiding the need for the each company to construct its own towers in certain instances.
TSTT is the incumbent operator, while Digicel was granted a license in June 2005. Digicel originally planned to start operations before the end of 2005 but TSTT did not receive interconnection equipment until early 2006 and Digicel also ended up buying equipment to ensure interconnection.
Despite being physically interconnected since March 2006, the parties had been unable to reach a final agreement regarding interconnection rates and spurred the telecoms regulator TATT to set up an arbitration panel as an intermediary.