LMT, Bite Latvija sign deal

  • 2005-09-28
  • From wire reports
RIGA - Latvijas Mobilais Telefons and Bite Latvija have managed to sign an interconnection agreement, a LMT representative said.
"The agreement has been signed, and now work on technical tests and finalizing has been started. Usually it does not take longer than a month," said LMT spokesman Valdis Jalinskis, "so it can be said with certainty that in a month LMT clients will be able to call Bite clients."

Bite Latvija, the third GSM mobile operator, had complained earlier about LMT's lack of willingness to cooperate. The company had even appealed to Latvia's competition authorities to mediate.

LMT officials cited the high interconnection tariffs requested by Bite as the main obstacle, though Bite executives claimed this was normal practice for new mobile operators.

Meanwhile, Tele2 said it had not signed an interconnection agreement with Bite. Evita Matisone, a company spokeswoman, added that negotiations were about to close. "We have reached agreements virtually on all issues with Bite, but we still cannot agree on the issue of tariffs," she said.

Bite Latvia, which is owned by Bite GSM, a Lithuanian company, launched commercial services in Latvia on Sept. 15. For now operators are restricted to pre-paid Toxic cards, but the company expects to unfurl its business telecommunication services in the near future.

For the time being, LMT and Tele2 clients are unable to call users of Toxic cards, as the two companies had not signed the agreements on interconnections with Bite Latvia.