On Telecoms joins fray

«On Telecoms» is entering the already intense competition of the local telecommunications market on Monday, offering Attica a package of telephone calls, broadband Internet connection and television as well as video-on-demand through the Internet. The package is offered on a monthly bill without the OTE charge, said the company, which was founded almost a year ago. Its management announced yesterday that within five months it has installed a 170-kilometer network of optical fibers in the broader region of the capital. The firm’s total investment today reaches -30 million, though its officials suggest it will run up to -150 million. A major portion of this capital concerns the subsidy for the equipment (a router for Internet connection and an appliance for digital television through the Internet) to be handed out without charge for subscribers. On Telecoms’ owners include former officials of Italian telecom companies, headed by Emmanouil Angelidis (who participated in Italy’s Fastweb and Britain’s Bulldog), officials from Greece (its president is Nikos Manassis, former president of OTE, while participating is Karolos Ghikas, former CEO of Intrasoft), as well as the Argo investment company, which owns 40 percent of the Dutch firm to which 100 percent of On Telecoms SA belongs. Italians own 30 percent of the Dutch firm and Greeks have the remaining 30 percent. For On Telecoms to supply its service free from OTE charges, the condition is that its equipment is located jointly with OTE’s telecom centers («collocation»). The new company argues that it has completed procedures for collocation in 35 local loops and it will soon rise to 40, covering 80 percent of Attica’s population. The company’s management did not clarify whether all 40 local loops are already operating or simply the installation of equipment is complete. The package includes a telephone line, broadband Internet access with speeds of up to 10 megabytes per second (for corporate connections this may rise to 15 Mbps) and video-on-demand. The annual fee for households starts from -35 in the context of a special offer valid until end-February.

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