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Bolivia to Undertake Second Phase of Deregulation
May 17, 2001

Bolivia's 2nd phase of deregulation in the fixed-line telephony market will result in seven (7) operating licenses, effective November 27, 2001. The new wave of deregulation puts an end to Entel's monopoly. Entel, which has 50% ownership by Telecom Italia has reacted by cutting tariffs significantly.

The 1995 Telecommunications Law had already introduce substantial deregulation and allowed for 16 local cooperatives to operate in the local loop. These providers are now advancing on strategic alliances to target the lucrative national and international long distance sectors.

New entries and competition in the market are expected from BoliviaTel, an alliance of seven (7) local cooperatives with over 105,000 lines, and Cotel (165,000 lines) in alliance with AES Communications Bolivia which is looking at an overall investment of US$146mn in infrastructure to provide data transmission services, fibre-optic network, and long distance services.

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