New player on mobile market

  • 2002-07-18
  • Jorgen Johansson

A new player in mobile telecommunications said it hoped to conquer a quarter of the domestic market with a low-price pre-paid calling card aimed at Latvian teens and new mobile users.

Egils Trumpe, managing director of Zetcom, said the company planed to conquer 25 percent to 30 percent of the market with its Amigo prepaid cards, introduced earlier this month.

"The mobile phone market is not yet saturated so I believe there is room for us too," Trumpe said.

The firm will rent network space from Latvia's biggest operator, Latvijas Mobilais Telefons, and said it had no plans to seek a licnese to become Latvia's third physical mobile operator, behind LMT and Swedish-owned Tele2.

"We are aiming for students and youngsters but not only," Trumpe said. "We want to be a good option for people who have just bought mobile phones and don't know who to subscribe."

LMT and Tele2 officials welcomed Zetcom's arrival, saying healthy competition is good for the market.

But Tele2 spokeswoman Agnese Ekmane said the company planed to slash prices for its own prepaid card, Zelta Zivtina, to maintain the lowest rates on the Latvian market.

LMT spokesman Davids Dane said he also expected Zetcom's arrival could drive prices on the prepaid card market down.

Zetcom said it had no plans to bid for a thrid generation network in a forthcoming auction later this year.

A third physical mobile operator is expected to enter the market next year, operating on a UMTS network or 3G.