As the war of words between Digicel and GTT heats up over Digicel’s move to bypass the local network and rely on a Suriname hook-up for the provision of its data services, the company is firing back at GTT.
One day after GTT accused Digicel of “robbing” the local tax system with its bypass move, Digicel responded and made it clear that it is and has been tax compliant.
“Digicel notes with great disappointment GT&T’s most recent statements to the press in which it repeated untrue allegations and more specifically claimed that Digicel has denied the Government of Guyana payment of taxes.”
According to Digicel, the focus should be on customers and competition.
“Digicel calls upon GT&T to desist from making false allegations that serve to mislead and remove the focus from the imminent opening of a fully competitive telecoms sector in Guyana and to allow the Government to continue to work towards making liberalisation a reality for the benefit of the public of Guyana.”
The company said if GTT believes it offers a superior level of services to consumers in Guyana, then there should be no need to fear liberalisation.
GTT has said that it welcomes liberalisation, but would like the local laws to be followed and for a leveled playing field to exist.
GTT had filed a complaint against Digicel after it was discovered that Digicel was bypassing the local network and using a Surinamese network for the provision of its data service. Digicel had signed an interconnection agreement with GTT.
Guyana is now moving to liberalise the telecommunications sector after GTT’s monopoly ended.
In its statement, GTT also told the Government that “Telecoms liberalization could be very positive for Guyana, but only if our laws are enforced and the public has transparency. GTT is providing this international service comparison to shed new light on this topic – however only the government has the authority ensure that the rule of law is enforced.”
The company said Digicel kept its operation secret from the public, the business community and the media for years and “now that the illegal bypass service has been acknowledged by Digicel and confirmed by the government, the public deserves full transparency and action by our leaders.”
Today Digicel said it is ironic that GT&T wants to portray itself as a consumer champion, “whilst doing everything in its power to frustrate our attempts to provide competition and choice in the market. Despite these challenges, Digicel has managed to compete effectively with GT&T and prides itself on its innovation and on the standard and quality of its services and will continue to fight to provide them to the people of Guyana.”
The Company also reminded that before it entered the market, Guyanese consumers faced high international calling rates along with poor mobile service.