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Laqtel, TSTT move closer to mobile deal

Laqtel CEO Michael Barrow has hinted that the concession document between Laqtel and TSTT, which will determine the way in which Laqtel will provide its mobile service, will be signed next week, as Laqtel’s legal team has thoroughly examined the document.

Speaking during the signing of a five-year contract for tower-sharing between Laqtel and TSTT at TSTT House in Port-of-Spain yesterday, Barrow said he expected the impasse to end within a week. "The thickness of the document had changed from the first time we saw it, so our lawyers had to read it first.

"We also met with the Telecommunication Authority of TT (TATT) to give them our take on the document, and we believe that the impasse will end shortly, within a week or two," said Barrow.

However, Barrow said cellular service from Laqtel will only become available when interconnection becomes a reality, as Laqtel was still in the process of building a superb wireless network as quickly and as affordable as possible. Barrow said he was happy with the "realistic" pace at which TSTT was operating in handling the issue of interconnection, saying that interconnection was not just a box.

Barrow said apart from tower-sharing with TSTT, Laqtel engineers are still working to find existing buildings and towers from which to transmit.

The master lease agreement signed between Laqtel and TSTT yesterday will now allow Laqtel to utilise 16 cellular towers with the view of increasing the number to 30. TSTT’s Legal Regulatory and Mobile Carrier Services official, Lisa Agard, said tower sharing would decrease the unnecessary duplication of towers around the country. "Based on the topography of TT, the construction of more towers will overwhelm the landscape which we are trying to protect, as that has become a major issue with the public," said Agard.

TSTT CEO Carlos Espinal said TSTT is committed to its own transformation and the decision of the Government to liberalise the market, which he said must be done in the most professional manner.

Trinidad and Tobago News

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