Close to four years since the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company applied to the Government for permission to expand its mobile platform to make the way for 3G and 4G technology, the company is still holding for a favourable response from the administration.
GT&T Chief Executive Officer, RK Sharma on Saturday evening explained that “we formally submitted a request to Government of Guyana for spectrum allocation to facilitate a phased 3G / 4G roll out. This submission included field test data, economic analysis and a macro Project Plan inclusive of geographic phases for the planned rollout . Regrettably , we are now in 2014 , technology has changed and the rapid advances in 3G/ 4G architecture in the global industry are everywhere with live regional networks deployed , handsets availability by major suppliers has increased with pricing trending downwards but GT&T has not been afforded the appropriate spectrum allocation to make 3G/ 4G a reality for all Guyana.”
According to the GT&T Executive, his company intends to intensify its efforts to ensure the changes it wants for advances in the telecommunications sector are approved by the Government.
There is the concern that the Government may be delaying granting expansion permission to the mobile operators in Guyana as it gets set to launch its own Information and Communications Technology (ICT) system. The CEO of GT&T is of the view that the private sector must be allowed to lead investment in the sector.
He said he has noticed the move by the government to join the competition but noted that there is the need for his company to be given the green light for several development projects. “GTT with no reservation , based on the global market and industry dynamics and actual success stories, can unequivocally state that ICT sector development must be spear headed by Private Capital and 4G is a major component of same hence the criticality of spectral policies which are transparent , market based and are designed to support National Development”, Sharma said.
GT&T, Sharma said, is also open to full liberalization of the sector stating that there will be tremendous opportunities available that will see advancement in the telecommunications field.
There have been a number of moves over the years to break up the monopoly that GT&T holds on international voice and data. The company has indicated that it is ready to move ahead with the changes. However, the legislation to pave the way for the liberalization process has found itself being pushed around and send to committees in the National Assembly.