Overwhelming response to new cellular service rates - GT&T

Stabroek News
May 4, 2001

There has been an overwhelming response to the commencement of new cellular rates and the Calling Party Pays (CPP), regime by the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company Ltd (GT&T).

Crowds on Wednesday flocked to GT&T's 79 Brickdam commercial office from early in the morning seeking to sign on to the cellular network, following the coming on stream of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), order 1 of 2001.

The order, which is currently being challenged in the High Court, effected a reduction in cellular rates including the restructuring of GT&T's plan system, the introduction of the CPP principle and prepaid phone cards.

Speaking with Stabroek News, GT&T's Public Relations Officer, Robert Bazil, stated that persons, especially first time customers, had responded positively to the new rates.

Many, according to Bazil, had expressed delight over the reductions in cellular rates and had gone to the Brickdam office to make enquiries and/or sign documents to become cellular users. The company, according to the PRO, was continuing to move ahead with plans, which would see its customers satisfied.

Stabroek News visited the commercial office where customers were lined up outside. Many expressed the view that the new rates approved by the PUC allowed them to access cellular service.

Officials were not in a position to quantify the number of customers dealt with but indications suggested that figure could amount to about a couple hundred.

Meanwhile, GT&T, in a press relaese issued yesterday, advised land line customers to listen carefully to the entire recorded message when making calls to cellular numbers prior to making a decision to proceed with the call.

In a press release from the company, it was stated that the recorded message that has been heard when subscribers dial cellular numbers has been added in compliance with PUC order No. 1 of March 2001.

According to the release it was stated that GT&T was mandated in the order to inform land line users who attempted to dial cellular numbers that they were not making a mormal call.

The recorded message says: "If you are under 18 years of age, do not make this call without parental permission. This call is to a cellular party and costs $10 a minute. If you do not wish to incur this cost, please hang up now".