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Trinidad and Tobago to Award a 3rd Mobile Phone License

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The telecoms regulator in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago has announced plans to award a 3rd mobile license in the country. The regulator says that the license will be for radio spectrum in both the 800Mhz and 1900Mhz bands, which leaves the market open to both GSM and CDMA operators.

The country currently has two mobile operators. A third operator, Laqtel was granted an operating license in 2005, but was perpetually unable to pay its license fees and had its license cancelled earlier this year.

The tender process closes next February, and the process is open to any interested entity, who is not already a concessionaire, or a significant shareholder (shareholding of 30% or more) in a concessionaire for public domestic mobile telecommunications network and services in Trinidad and Tobago.

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. The interconnection dispute was only finally sorted out earlier this year.

The Mobile World subscriber tracker reports that the country ended June with an estimated 1.65 million mobile phone users - representing a population penetration level of nearly 160%.

On the web: Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago - Mobile World

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Tags: qtel  cdma  digicel  radio spectrum  800mhz  interconnection  caribbean  Trinidad And Tobago