Bite GSM asks for mediation

  • 2005-09-21
  • From wire reports
RIGA - Bite Latvia, a local affiliate of the Danish owned Bite GSM, has asked the public utilities regulator to mediate talks with Latvijas Mobilais Telefons, the largest mobile telecommunication operator.

Bite Latvija is asking the regulator's help in negotiations with LMT, since talks with Tele2 have developed more successfully, Bite CEO Theill Jesper Erikssen said.

Regulator spokeswoman Liga Rimsevica told the Baltic News Service that regulators have received Bite Latvija's request and are ready to get involved in the mediations.

LMT head Juris Binde explained that talks on an interconnection agreement have reached a deadlock since Bite Latvia is demanding an "excessively high" interconnection tariff. "Such a tariff is unacceptable for LMT, because for the majority of the mobile telecommunications users this would mean excessively high tariffs for connections with clients of the new operator," Binde explained.

Evita Binde, a representative of Tele2, the second largest mobile operator, said the interconnection agreement between Tele2 and Bite was still unsigned since parties have been unable to agree on the commercial part of the contract.

Erikssen defended Bite's tariff proposal, explaining that it was "normal practice" that the interconnection tariff is higher for the operator with a smaller number of clients than for the operator with more clients.

He also noted that Bite has already concluded interconnection agreements with other large players on the Latvian telecommunications market, such as Lattelekom, the leading fixed-line phone operator, and Triatel, a mobile operator working in the CDMA system, on approximately the same conditions Bite is offering LMT and Tele2.

Since both mobile operators have not signed the interconnections agreement with Bite Latvija, Tele2 and LMT clients are unable to call the users of Toxic, Bite's pre-paid telecommunications services card.

Bite began selling Toxic cards on Sept. 15.

Bite Latvija is part of the Danish TDC concern.