After enjoying a monopoly that extended to quarter of a century, Cable and Wireless now rebranded as Lime will have to relinquish the reins in a matter of weeks.
Antiguans and Barbudans will soon be able to make international direct dial telephone calls through other service providers after June 23rd, 2012.
Minister of Information, Broadcasting, Telecommunications, Science & Technology the Hon. Dr. Edmond Mansoor says he is already in discussions with major telecommunications providers in anticipation of Lime’s looming license expiration.
According to the Telecommunications Minister, all telecommunication companies will now be able to compete due to a new arrangement which replaces the old agreement (with Lime).
Dr. Mansoor says, “We have been in major discussions with all the key players in the Telecommunications sector, namely: APUA, Digicel, Lime, Antigua Computer Technology because as you know, on June 23rd of this year the Cable & Wireless monopoly on overseas calls would have come to an end and we will be promulgating a brand new framework and that would mean that for consumers in Antigua & Barbuda, you would have in the first instance, some level of choice.”
The Telecommunications Minister also said that he believes that the cost of overseas calls (depending on where you’re calling) is likely to decrease by 15% to 50%.
The expiry of Lime’s license also means that Voice Over IP (VOIP) will be legal and other companies will be able to compete with other well known international names such as Skype that is used to make calls over the internet.
Dr Mansoor adds, “with the impending conclusion of LIME’s monopoly on international direct dial calls, it is very important that an effective and competitive market place is ensured. Safe-guarding customer interests and fostering the long term development of the telecommunications sector is also very important.”