Friday, November 26, 2004

IT integrators cozying up to Triatel?

Triatel, the CDMA-450 operator that started operations on November 15, has several IT integrators and ASPs waiting to talk about some deals, sources told this blogger. The idea is to package the mobile, fixed mobile and wireless internet solutions with the IT companies applications on demand, VPN service and the like. It seems that some of the companies want to offer a kind of "corporate-network-in-a-box" incorporating Triatel fixed and mobile phones, a VPN, servers and networked PCs, applications such as CRM or ERP, whatever.
This is apparently a sign that Triatel is seen as being the right magnet for business users of what are, in fact, 3G services. Triatel subscriptions are not going to be used to watch videocasts (using free video minutes) of lunch at the high school cafeteria, as this blogger's 17-year-old (from my first marriage, lives in Sweden) says some of his classmates do with their 3 phones. The target of some 40 000 users set by Triatel seems realistic in the number of total lines that could be used for business purposes (some companies going entirely wireless, whether with mobile, desktop phones or laptop cards) and by some high-end private users. We may also see Triatel drop the other shoe and announce a pure DSL-type wireless internet subscription, either with high speed or a competitive flat rate price.
It is interesting what Lattelekom will do - it is seeking some CDMA 450 spectrum, supposedly for reaching out into the remote countryside. But will it stand aside and watch Triatel take high revenue business customers (alone or through IT integrators), or will it act? In that case, how? Could Verdi, the brand Lattelekom uses for its IT solution provider, be one of those waiting to talk to Triatel? Certainly, the more natural partner, Latvian Mobile Telephone (LMT) isn't rushing to get its UMTS service up and running by year end as its licence stipulates. And the idea of a mobile office-in-a-box that can be up and running almost in a plug and play mode for its simpler functions (voice, fax, internet, video conferencing) is pretty attractive. If Lattelekom doesn't offer it, someone else will.

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