Feb 28, 2019 News
US-controlled Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) says that it made 20,000 connections of its Blaze service in the last 18 months with a backlog in the processing applications.
Speaking during a press conference at GTT’s offices at Lot 55 Brickdam on Tuesday, Chief Executive Officer, Justin Nedd, said that the quality of the voice service on the Blaze is much better than the traditional one.
In fact, customers are giving up the traditional copper line (landline) phones, opting for the Blaze service.
Those services are being offered to where Blaze customers are, with the number beginning with a 500 digit.
The question would be asked as GTT has been mandated by the regulator, the Public Utilities Commission, to make at least 350 new landline connections every quarter.
Nedd said that it is meeting the requirements for new voice connections.
The company is facing, also, an unprecedented demand for internet services.
He was asked about the fact that rates in Linden, Region Ten, are same for rates for Blaze, a faster internet service elsewhere.
According to the CEO, it is a fact that GTT has been making strides.
In 2014, there was one megabyte DSL service for $10,000. This same one megabyte was reduced to $5,000. There was no protesting when the rates went down.
“We are continuing to look at managing rates for all our customers,” he insisted. He also disclosed that the faster Blaze service, currently being rolled out, has made it possible for video service to be introduced as well.
GTT is partnering with a third party, offering 100 channels for a mere $2,500, he said.
There will be other services that will be coming, thanks to the possibilities of fibre internet, he says.
Questioned about whether GTT is looking to phase out the old copper lines, in favour of fibre, which is linked to a US$30M sub-sea cable that comes via Suriname, Nedd admitted that there is a natural progression.
He said that there was a time when dialup was big, coming from satellite. Then DSL came. Now fibre is here.
“If as a company we don’t look to constantly improve, we probably would be dead and out of business.”
The fibre offers internet speed of up to 1,000 times the DSL service, he said.
At GTT, there is improvement with many services now being conducted online, including application for voice and internet services.
There is even a payment app- MMG.
From January 2018, to now, there is a 400 percent increase in internet traffic, thanks to deployment of the fibre network.
According to Nedd, the telephone company has the skills set and capacity to continue expanding.
On the mobile side, the internet speed has been improving with a 10-gig plan for customers who use a lot of data.
Over the next few months, GTT will also move to reduce lines in its stores by introducing more self-service possibilities.
The company will also be aggressively pushing its internet rollout campaign and expanding its mobile network reach.
With regards to standards, GTT is rapidly moving to introduce international ISO-compliant ones before the year is out.
As at February 22, the company reported, more than 99 percent of its landline service was in good working order.
With regards to growth, the official disclosed that analysis found that there is growing interest in streaming, with Netflix, YouTube topping what customers are accessing. This interest is not expected to wane. GTT is aggressively expanding to meet the demands.
With regards to downtime, Nedd disclosed that last year, there were major cuts to the networks but backups would have cause customers not to notice. There was one cut to connections that lasted for one year, but customers would not really have been aware.
He complained about the high statutory tax rate to the telecoms sector, which is 45 percent, one of the highest rates in the world.
The CEO also believed that the 14 percent Value Added Tax on services is an inhibiting factor in the service that customers can experience. Another issue that GTT is facing is vandalism, with the most recent damage to its fibre cable occurring on Mash Day, February 23. It takes millions to conducts repairs, the company said.
An attack on the network is tampering with security, he warned.
Guyanese you are being prostituted by your politicians!
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