Once the management/staff buyout (MBO) is complete, one of Lattelecom's priorities will be to expand its broadband coverage. CEO Nils Melngailis has said as much. More than 100,000 of Lattelecom's more than 600 000 wireline customers already have DSL, and the aim is clearly to get almost everyone aboard. That includes customers beyond the reach of the present network in rural towns and outlying areas.
Another priority is to move into mobile services. In this regard, I have mentioned a number of options, with the most likely one being a virtual operator (MVNO) on the Bite network, where all paying customers are welcome. Another option would be to experiment with mobile WIMAX (something not likely to be viable until the middle of 2008). I have also mentioned that Lattelecom could forge closer ties, perhaps even buy Triatel, which runs a non-standard (for Europe) CDMA mobile phone and data network, plus an EV DO wireless broadband network (satisfactory at my country cottage 35 km outside Riga). Triatel is already cooperating with Lattelecom for installing fixed wireless telephony and landed an EU and government-financed rural broadband project.
After a bit of chatting with sources, it looks like the best fit between Lattelecom and Triatel could be in the wireless broadband space, or so some think. Triatel appears ready to be persuaded into some kind of broader, more permanent deal. The question is, how much infrastructure overlap there may be and is this not at odds with the rather strange rural wireless broadband project backed by the government? The basic idea of that project, rather than helping spread "last mile" solutions (which Triatel is) was to establish parallel wholesale infrastructure and hope that resellers would appear in the poor rural areas and have a choice of wholesalers whose internet connection they could then distribute to the rural farmsteads, huts and hovels in the forest.
Meanwhile, earlier this summer, Lattelecom announced it was buying a bunch of Alcatel point to point high capacity microwave links in order to extend its broadband reach beyond the optical and wire network. That sounds like extending infrastructure to me. Still, the last mile could be set up and sold by Triatel, especially if it was part of the Lattelecom fold. Watch these developments...:)
HP in New York
I'm off to New York on September 4 for some kind of Hewlett-Packard (HP) all day event on September 5. Piecing together some sparse e-mails from the local organizers, it will be a series of break out events on various gadgets and issues. There has not exactly been a flood of information as to what, when (and just some bios of who), but it will held at some posh hotel (the Ritz) on the Battery, far from the delights of the rest of Manhattan. Or so the month old e-mails claim. But hey, I already have my electronic ticket (in French) from HP, so thanks!
Many of the discernable events are of interest, and, hopefully, I will be able to blog and videoblog from there, both here and for my Latvian employer. I notice blogger has added a "add video"function, which means I may be able to bypass the sometime slow(to post uploads) and (therefore) dubious YouTube and the quicker alternative, blip.tv. Anyway, I will give it a test. After that, I will be off to Boston to see family and back in Latvia on September 11