Cel*Star poised to enter cell phone market
March 6, 2003
Cel*Star, which has been granted a licence to provide a cellular service in Guyana is pushing ahead with plans to set up its network and will soon sign an interconnection agreement with GT&T.
The company plans to invest US$20M. Grey Libertiny, Director of Business Development for Cel*Starís parent company, Trans World Telecoms, in a telephone interview with the Stabroek News from his New Jersey office said he expects the agreement with GT&T to be finalised shortly. Interconnection agreements establish how calls are handled and paid for when passing between competing systems.
He said the company had already completed its business plan and issues related to rates and other consumer related matters. He added that the equipment had been ordered and should arrive here within six weeks of the inter-connection agreement being signed.
Libertiny told Stabroek News that for the past two months Wesley Kirton, Cel*Starís chief executive officer/secretary, has been in Guyana finalising arrangements for the erection of towers along the East Coast and East Bank Demerara and along the West Coast Demerara. Cel*Star is in the process of concluding arrangements to purchase or lease these sites.
Stabroek News understands that the Civil Aviation Department has approved the erection of the towers, which are expected to be no more than 200 feet tall but that approval from other related agencies were also being acquired. The towers are sited at Kingston, Mandela Avenue and Sophia in Georgetown; at Sophia, La Bonne Intention, Enmore, Mahaica, Mahaicony, and Blairmont; on the East Coast and West Coast Berbice; at McDoom, Diamond and Timehri on the East Bank Demerara; and at Vreed-en-Hoop, Windsor Forest, Stewartville and Tuschen on the West Coast Demerara.
Some of the sites where the towers are to be located were identified with the assistance of the engineers attached to the regional administrations.
Cel*Starís head office and technical operating centre is to be located at 56 High Street, Kingston and arrangements have been completed to site its sales office at the Hand-in-Hand building in downtown Georgetown.
Kirton says that the cell phone company intends to employ about 50 people in the initial stages and that this number could reach as high as 150 when fully operational including security personnel.
Kirton was high in his praise for the efficiency with which the Civil Aviation Commission has dealt with the issues Cel*Star has raised as well as the efficiency with which the Region Five Regional Administration has dealt with the companyís needs.