Tuesday, December 06, 2005

No one wild in the streets for number porting

It appears that the Latvian public is not going wild in the streets for number portability. There has been little action on the mobile side, though I have not checked out Bite. However, I believe that had their first 1 000 signed up (getting a Nokia 6230i for LVL 1 in the bargain), there would have been an annoucement. It appears only a few hundred have taken the plunge for all forms of porting, mostly on the fixed line side. Baltkom says 400 people expressed an interest in switching and predicted some 2000 would do so by the end of the week. That sounds interesting, but it is a trivial percentage of 600 000 Lattelekom subscribers. For Baltkom, to be sure, it is a double digit rise as they don't have very many subscribers, around 10 000, perhaps (though not bad for an alternative operator). Baltkom and Latvenergo (if they are still eager to do telecoms) will probably gain more subscribers in the medium term by signing up people in the newly-built housing developments and offering them very fast internet, digital TV and telephony all in one. I tend to think that many of the Lattelekom refugees to Baltkom live in areas covered by Baltkom's fiber optic network and number portability removes the last barrier to getting Baltkom's reasonably attractive triple play packet.
The time is drawing near when Lattelekom will have to match the triple-play offered by other operators (a weird kind by Izzi), but that means getting its IPTV service launched. A dead Apollo TV link has, yet again, appeared on the www.apollo.lv website, but don't count on TV on your Apollo internet connection by Christmas. Q1 2006 is a safe bet.

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