GVT promises to invest 1bn dollars if pro-competition rules are upheld

The top management of Global Village Telecom (GVT), accompanied by Shaul Shani representing the shareholders, met Wednesday, July 30, with Communications Minister Miro Teixeira to announce the investment of more than 3 billion Brazilian Reals (now about 1bn US Dollars) in expansion this year, provided the new telecommunications policy recently formulated in a decree signed by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is effectively implemented.
Amos Genish, president of GVT, said investment to date totals 3.6bn BRL. The new capex plan will go ahead only if the incumbents are forced to unbundle and promote co-billing, he said. GVT, a competitive local exchange carrier, also wants to see number portability and official action to stop unfair trade practices by the incumbents.
Communications Minister Miro Teixeira said he was delighted with GVT?s promise to invest. ?Brazil needs such investment,? he stressed, assuring his interlocutors from the telco that the Government will do everything it can to enforce the new policy decree. ?You get ready to make the investment and we will do our duty on our side,? he said.

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Unfair practices
Amos Genish said GVT has filed 20 complaints on unfair practices with Anatel. ?Very few have received a satisfactory response,? he noted. The most serious complaint is against Telefonica, which GVT accuses of refusing to sign an interconnection agreement for São Paulo. In practice, an interconnection agreement creates a new market player and refusing to interconnect is the most serious affront to competition there can be, he argued.
Asked to comment on GVT?s complaints, Communications Minister Miro Teixeira said he preferred to look forward rather than back, promising that competition will be promoted and problems will be resolved as they arise. ?This ministry will take very tough action against anything that constitutes an obstacle to competition,? he said.


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