Thursday, March 22, 2007

Marion the librarian and Lattelecom's plan C

No, this is not the title of an Ed Wood movie along the lines of Plan 9 from Outer Space. It has to do with a credible scenario for how Lattelecom could move into mobile WiMax (thus mobile services on a new, very likely flat-fee quad-play package) over the next few years.
First-- let us recall the plans for getting into the mobile market once the connection to Latvian Mobile Telephone (LMT) is eventually broken. Plan A was to buy Bite, but Bite has been bought by others and the price was probably too high for Lattelecom. Plan B-- start a strongly branded and marketed Lattelecom Mobile as a virtual operator on the Bite network (everyone is welcome, the more the merrier...)
Plan C is to wait for mobile WiMax to ripen in 2008 and then go ahead and build out a WiMax network that eventually brings high speed wireless broadband and VOIP plus mobile VOIP to everywhere in Latvia that it is commercially practical. If positioned as a flat fee (though perhaps premium service) mobile WiMax with Skype or some other VOIP service would be the wireless equivalent of free calls on the Latvian network now offered as part of the Mājas komplekts (Home Package) deal.
But we are getting way ahead of events and forgetting about Marion the Librarian? Where does she come it? Lattelecom has just finished its WiMax tests and is evaluating the results. It looks like they will show the viability of the technology--after all, it works in other countries, why not here?
Also, Latvia will soon announce a tender for connecting all 800 libraries, many of them in rural villages, to high-speed broadband. If Lattelecom can win the tender with its test-proven WiMax, it will get at least partial government and European Union financing to unwire the libraries. Then, with many WiMax towers in place, it will have the bones and (some meat) of a national WiMax network, just as mobile WiMax starts to become viable.
So once Lattelecom unwires Marion the Librarian or Baiba bibliotekāre (for all you Latvian speakers) and give her the best of its megabits (do you read sexual innuendo in this? Why?) the next...conquest could be the new mobile communications market that WiMax will open up once the right handsets, antennas and base-stations are available (having built a tower for Marion/Baiba, Lattelecom will just add the new gadgets and software). And we are not too far from the handsets, since we now have multiradio gadgets coming on the market (like the Nokia N-95, talk about sexy), so adding WiMax should be no problemo.
If you ask me, by the time whoever is in the zoo called government in Latvia by late 20o8 finally decides what to do with LMT -- like closing the deal with Telenor Sonera (not a misspelling) or Deutsche Telia or Nordski Telefonski (if the Russians get a big piece of the pie when TeliaSonera is fully privatized and wheeled and dealed into something bigger than itself --OK, maybe Telenorski Telefon :))--when all this is over, Lattelecom just might be ready to go straight to Plan C. We shall ---"C"....


Anonymous said...

Sveiki Juri,
Ja Jums ir brivs bridis... man ir visparigs jautajums: es nekur nevaru atrast informaciju par LR Satiksmes Ministrijas planiem uz wimax licensu(3.5Ghz) aukcionu. Vai tads jau ir bijis? Vai tas tiek planots?
J. Millers

Juris Kaža said...

Mēģināšu noskaidrot. Nezinu...


Anonymous said...

Sveiciens Juri,

Jusu blogi ir lieliski!

Sakiet vai Jums neizdevas ko uzzinat. Vai vinji plano kadu oficialu pazinojumu saja sakara.
Vai veljoprojam nav oficialas informacijas.

Paldies. Visu labu.

Juris Kaža said...

Nav nekas dzirdēts. Parīt braucu uz ASV līdz 19. oktobrim.