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The Telecommunications service providers GTT and Digicel are calling each other out.

The Telecommunications service providers GTT and Digicel are calling out each other following a High Court’s ruling last Friday on GT&T’s license to move voice and data in and out of Guyana.

The ruling essentially dealt with whether the Telecommunications Company GTT could continue to block a voice over internet protocol service that bypasses its international voice and data transmission. The Judge found that the blocking of the bypass was unlawful. The competing cellphone provider Digicel Guyana rang in and claimed that the ruling was excellent and then announced a reduction of international calling rates as of yesterday.

GTT stated not so fast, it moved for and was granted a stay of execution of the Judge’s order and indicated its intention to appeal the ruling. But that is not the only noise on the line. Digicel’s announcement may be more a publicity ploy than what can actually happen under the Telecommunications Act. The Act requires Digicel to have a license to operate a Telecommunications service to move international voice and data, that license has to be granted by the Minister responsible for Telecommunications. It is unclear whether since the court ruling a license was granted to move voice and data out and into Guyana. To do otherwise is an offense under section 5 of the Telecommunications Act of 1990.

Digicel on the other line is signaling that it has other extensive plans for further growth of Guyana’s telecoms industry adding that customers will soon be able to enjoy other offers on international calls. But that may reach a busy signal when the attorneys decide to “tun up”(turn up with) the Public Utilities Commission Act and the Telecommunication Act in court. Any alteration in rates must meet the approval of the Public Utilities Commission the PUC .

Digicel has been clamoring to be able to use its Caribbean domestic satellite system for voice and data services in and out of the Caribbean and elsewhere. It was granted an interim international license some time ago when there was a serious disruption in the Americas two cable that lasted for two days. GT&T says it has no problem with a fully liberalized telecommunications sector but it should not come through piecemeal court orders.

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