BTC Appeals to Mascom And Orange Not to Ditch using incumbent’s Infrastructure in Botswana


The CEO of Botswana’s incumbent Vincent Seretse said he was trying to persuade the two mobile operators to continue using BTC’s infrastructure. This is bit like King Canute asking the waves to turn back as both are likely to put in place their own international gateways and their own microwave links on key routes.

"We are persuading Mascom and Orange not to open their (own international) gateways," Seretse said at the Botswana Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Call Centre conference held at the Gaborone Sun earlier in the week.

The BTC, which enjoyed a landline monopoly until recently, is still providing the gateway for other telecommunication operators, but it fears it will lose the majority of its international voice business if the mobile operators set up their own international gateways as they almost inevitably will. Now they have a choice, mobile operators want both lower prices and service quality, something BTC may not be able to deliver.

Meanwhile, Seretse told the BPO conference that the BTC "shall provide mobile services" within months. Since there is currently little or no price competition in the mobile market, a new entrant can only be a good thing for Botswana’s mobile users.

(Source: Mmegi/The Reporter)