ECONOMY

Tellas makes its debut

Tellas, the telecommunications joint venture between electricity utility Public Power Corporation and Italian telecommunications company Wind, has signaled its intention to become a formidable rival to dominant carrier OTE by announcing plans to grab a 17 percent share of the fixed-telephony market in three years. «We aim to become the real alternative to OTE in fixed-telephony and Internet services,» said Pierluigi Quarenghi, managing director. PPC acquired its fixed wireless telephony license in 2001. Tellas, in which PPC holds a 50 percent minus one stake and Wind a 50 percent plus one share, hopes to sign on 900,000 fixed-telephony clients and 200,000 Internet subscribers by 2006. It is targeting a 15 percent share of the Internet market. Key to the company’s strategy is competitive prices. Quarenghi said charges will be 4-5 percent lower than OTE rates. The operator aims to bring prices down in the future once it has gained more confidence. Quarenghi said Tellas is projected to post positive earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization three years after the launch of business. It should see a net profit in 2007, the fifth year of operations. Tellas expects to invest 321 million euros by 2006, with total investments up to 2011 amounting to 654 million euros. To date, it has already laid down 1,300 kilometers of optical fiber cables utilizing PPC’s distribution and transport network. The urban network is expected to cover 250 km and the prefectural network 2,285 km. The operator is targeting residential, corporate and professional users. Wind is the third-biggest mobile telephone operator in Italy. It also offers fixed-telephony and Internet services.