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Paving the Way for Increased Competition, Cheaper Calls: World Bank
DILI, April 2nd, 2012 ----- The World Bank congratulates the Government of Timor-Leste for their landmark agreement with Timor Telecom, which will allow new service providers into the telecommunications market and help reduce costs of mobile phone use.
The World Bank recognizes this as an important step to improve quality and coverage of telecommunications and support broad economic development.
“We welcome this decision by the Government of Timor-Leste to instill vital reforms to the telecommunications sector,” said Luis Constantino, Country Manager of the World Bank in Timor-Leste. “Global experience shows us that increased competition leads to lower costs for mobile phone users and better quality of services, which will help connect Timorese people to each other, and businesses to vital information.”
World Bank Group support to telecommunications reform in the Pacific has given over one million more people access to mobile phones, with significant improvements in service quality and access.
In 2002, Timor Telecom held a contract that guaranteed exclusivity of service provision until 2017. Government-led negotiations have helped end this exclusive concession.
The World Bank has offered significant support to the Government of Timor-Leste by providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Infrastructure in devising a new Telecommunications Policy. ThePolicy will enable greater competition with the main objectives to expand telecommunications access for the whole Timorese population, and to make broadband internet available in all district capitals by 2013.
The World Bank has also advised the Government of Timor-Leste on the development of new telecommunications legislation to support effective regulation of the newly-competitive telecommunication market.