Wednesday, March 07, 2012

More on LMT, HAL & the bag man - Lattelecom be slightly afraid

I found out the real story behind the Latvian Mobile Telephone (LMT) offer that seems to suggest the fixed line numbers can be transferred to a mobile operator. They can. What LMT has set up is a wireless "fixed line" phone service, much the way Lattelecom once did with CDMA standard operator Triatel.  The whole thing does run off a GSM SIM card, to which the Lattelecom  number can be transferred as a fixed line number. This baffled me at first, since, generally, fixed line phones don't need SIM cards (except when they are wireless). As for tariff plans, the new LMT home package will be on a semi-flat rate basis, that is, giving more minutes for a fixed price than a normal user can consume in a month (up to 1 500 minutes, unlimited on the LMT network. The minutes in  can be used both for calling fixed and mobile phones (almost perfect convergence?). It is perhaps better than the Lattelecom unlimited flat rate, because with Lattelecom, once off the network or even calling a mobile phone, the money counter switches on.
So Lattelecom  is challenged to some extent. It may have to find a way to offer a similar service, at least to  add a mobile component to its offering, or to join forces and co-sell with LMT, with whom they have had a mutually cool arms-length relationship all these years. Maybe things will change when the never-ending story ends and TeliaSonera, hitherto the half-mother (haven't used that term in a while) is finally allowed to buy out the state and other shareholders in Lattelecom and LMT.

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