Lattelekom opened the first of what will apparently be several Apollo «digital gadget and services» boutiques at a Riga shopping center. The idea is to sell desktop PCs, SOHO (small office, home office) equipment such as copiers, faxes, scanners and printers, wireline phone handsets, digital cameras and various things for the gadgeterati, as well as subscriptions to phone lines and DSL internet.
Where have we seen this before?
A year ago, Lattelekom' s then one and only subsidiary Sakaru Sistemas sold its 11 TeleParks retail shops to mobile phone dealer DT Mobile. DT Mobile owns the Dual and Trodeks chains of mobile phone shops, and it is converting the former TeleParks shops to Trodeks IT (or something like that).
What is missing here?
Well, whatever you may be able to buy at the Apollo store, it probably won't be a mobile phone and subscription (or prepaid). I may be wrong, I haven't been to the place, but there is only one dealer where you can get what small businesses really want, which is "telecoms in a box" and that is Triatel. It is, even with desktop phones, a totally wireless solution, so some business might be wary of that. But it does give a signal to Lattelekom (and Latvian Mobile Telephone) to get their act together.
Still, smart and logical as it may be, it isn't likely. My sources tell me that people at LMT are convinced that they and only they will be put up for full adoption by the half-mother, TeliaSonera, and that the half mother will orphan Lattelekom, to be sold on the cheap to whomever.
Back in Sweden, there are press stories that the half-mother has been consorting with Russia's Alfa Group, which has substantial telecoms interests and may be seeking to make peace and establish cooperation after participating in a perejoba (excuse my poor Russian, but the idea is along the lines of a f**king over) of TeliaSonera in its futile efforts to by all of Turkcell, a Turkish mobile operator.