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Antigua ends C&W monopoly on overseas calls

Published:Tuesday | June 26, 2012 | 12:00 AM
  • Digicel and LIME get new licences

The Antigua and Barbuda government has ended the 25-year monopoly enjoyed by the British-based Cable & Wireless on international direct dial telephone calls.

A government statement said that the monopoly regime, which applied to overseas calls originating from and terminating on to fixed lines and mobile phones, expired last week.

It said Cabinet has since approved international telecommunications services licences to Antigua Wireless Ventures Limited, trading as Digicel; Cable & Wireless Antigua and Barbuda Limited, trading as LIME; Antigua Computer Technology Limited (ACT), and the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA).

Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Dr Edmond Mansoor has signed a memorandum of understanding which will govern, on a contractual and mandatory basis, the relationships between the international telecommunications operators in the post-LIME monopoly era with senior corporate executives of the various telecommunication companies.

Better rates

"I am confident that citizens and residents will benefit from significantly more competitive rates on overseas calls to most regions of the world," Mansoor said.

"Moreover, the investments by the telecommunications operators in new, advanced wireless technologies

will positively impact the entire society and will assist the government to leap-frog its national ICT development and innovation agendas," he added.

The government statement said, "The end of the LIME monopoly marks the beginning of open competition in international telecommunication services. Antigua and Barbuda already has open competition in the provision of Internet services."

- CMC