Bite will come into Latvia as a true Lithuanian-Latvian company, running core functions (billing, accounting, content management) with its existing organization in Lithuania and adding Latvian staff to handle marketing and the build-out in Latvia.
Bite intends to capture a part of the business market by moving quickly to offer high speed EDGE data services and a package of flat-rate services known as Bite Bizpak (?) in Lithuania. For consumers, Bite will adapt its Bite Plius mobile portal which offers ringtones, Mp3 downloads, games, weather and a range of other services. Many subsidized phones sold in Lithuania are customized with a special Bite Plius button - look for the same in Latvia.
The company will start operations this year and build out a network in three stages, the first covering the major cities such as Riga, Ventspils, Liepaja and Daugavpils and at least three heavily traveled highway routes (from Riga to the Lithuanian border via Jelgava and Bauska, and to Daugavpils).
Bite officials scoffed at claims by Latvian Mobile Telephone and Tele2 that it would be difficult o expand network capacity to allow Bite to have national roaming in some parts of Latvia until the network buildout is completed. They said that increasing the capacity of any base station was a matter of installing an additional "box" that would be paid for by the fees charged to Bite for network use.
In other countries, according to Bite GSM CEO Jesper Thiell Eriksen, operators compete to sell national roaming to newcomers.
More later, have to check out of the lovely -- because it has free wireless internet - Reval Hotel Lietuva.