Liberalization of telecommunications in Cape Verde goes ahead with agreement from Portugal Telecom

26 September 2006

Praia, Cape Verde, 26 Sept – The liberalization of the Cape Verdean telecommunications market will go ahead in January 2007 after the country’s government reached an agreement with Portugal Telecom, the main shareholder of the company that holds the monopoly Cabo Verde Telecom (CVT).

The agreement, which will be made official Thursday, according to the local press, outlines that the operator will drop the court case demanding that the liberalization of the fixed line network and international calls be suspended, which was unilaterally imposed by the Cape Verdean government.

In exchange for its agreement on the liberalization, CVT will be given permission from the government to update the archipelago’s fixed line tariffs, which it has sought to do for some time.

In May, the Supreme Court of Justice (STJ) of Cape Verde ruled that CV Telecom’s claim against the government was justified and suspended the decree law that took the company’s monopoly on international calls.

In the November 2005 decree the government unilaterally altered the telecommunications service concession contract, signed in 1996, which gave CV Telecom exclusivity on the country’s public telecommunications service for 25 years, until 2021.

This decree brought an end to negotiations between the government and CV Telecom for liberalization of calls, which had been underway for almost four months.