January 9, 2009
Digicel takes issue with LIME’s All Talk

Regional mobile telecommunications company Digicel has issued a challenge to one of the rate plans being offered by its main competitor on the regional market.

Digicel has taken issue with the All Talk Plan being offered by LIME on the grounds that it represents an “anticompetitive bundling” of its services.{{more}}

According to LIME’s promotional material, the All Talk plan offers Vincentian consumers 6000 minutes in calls per month at a cost of EC$135 plus VAT from LIME mobile to LIME Caribbean mobile and LIME Caribbean landline to all thirteen Caribbean territories where LIME operates.

Jerry George, Digicel’s Public Relations Manager for the Eastern Caribbean, told Searchlight: “Under the rules of ECTEL, the landline and mobile markets are treated separately. In the rate plan being challenged, LIME is leveraging its stranglehold on the landline market and combining this with its mobile market, thereby cross subsidizing its service and hence giving itself an unfair advantage.”

Calls made using the ALL Talk plan effectively work out to EC 3 cents per minute.

George said: “Since our inception, Digicel has demonstrated our commitment to the subscribers getting the best rates available. Digicel is still committed to this, but is of the view that all pricing must be undertaken in accordance with established regulations.”

When contacted, Chief Executive of LIME Angus Steele told Searchlight that while he is aware of the challenge, he has not yet received any official notification from the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC) or the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL), and as such would not comment. He said when LIME is officially notified, the company will respond accordingly.