BITE bullish about future prospects

  • 2007-09-19
  • By Mike Collier

SMOOTH AS SILK: A new marketing campaign will draw a parallel between silk and Bite's coverage, said CEO Hrenchuk

RIGA 's At a press conference Sep. 19, new Bite Latvia's chief executive Fred Hrenchuk gave an upbeat assessment of the mobile phone company's prospects for the coming year.

"Coverage development is a top priority for our company," Hrenchuk told journalists.

"In the next year we plan to carry out considerable improvements of the network coverage.

"We're very proud of our 3G coverage. We've built in the biggest cities to begin with because 3G is really about data cards. Everywhere in the country we also have a technology called 'Edge' which may not be as fast as 3G but is pretty fast technology, up to 236 kilobits per second.

Hrenchuk confirmed that in expanding its coverage further, Bite will concentrate on ensuring that the main roads throughout the country are covered.

"We have a very aggressive plan next year. I think it's more aggressive than this year in terms of how much more coverage we are going to add.

"We think by the end of next year we are going to be the same everywhere [in coverage] as Tele2. That is roughly 150 to 200 sites, dependant upon planning." With 35 million euros already invested and each base station costing around 100,000 lats according to Bite's own figures, the company's total investment bu the end of next year should be around 50 million euros.

"We don't have the best network today," Hrenchuk admitted, "but we have a network that's improving every day."

"It was our second birthday on Friday. We had some birthday cake and sent some to the CEO of LMT and the CEO of Tele2 [rival companies] but we didn't get any birthday wishes back."

Further adding to Bite's attempts to poke fun at its rivals, LMT parent company Lattelecom just happened to be hosting a large conference of its own a few floors below the Bite press conference at the Reval Hotel Latvija.