YOU ARE AT:Archived ArticlesAMERITECH'S DIVERGING VIEWS MAY LEAD TO SALE IN POLAND

AMERITECH’S DIVERGING VIEWS MAY LEAD TO SALE IN POLAND

Ameritech Corp. is considering selling its 24.5 percent interest in Polish analog operator Centertel because it has “diverging views on what [the operator’s] future should look like,” said Dennis LaComb, director of international affairs for Ameritech.

Telekomunikacja Polska SA, Poland’s state-owned telecom company, holds a majority 51 percent stake in Centertel. France Telecom Group owns the remaining 24.5 percent.

LaComb said technology is the main issue dividing Ameritech’s philosophies from those of TPSA. Ameritech believes owning a digital cellular license is “absolutely critical for the future of Centertel.” Centertel currently operates a Nordic Mobile Telephone 450 network.

Ameritech and France Telecom entered into the partnership five years ago with the condition Centertel would, as an upgrade, receive a license to operate a Global System for Mobile communications network once Poland made spectrum available. But last year, Poland’s government ruled GSM licenses would be awarded through competitive tender only. Two consortia were licensed and each launched service a few months ago.

Separately, Ameritech and France Telecom have pursued international arbitration regarding the GSM dispute. LaComb said a decision isn’t expected anytime soon.

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