Local fixed line operator EPM has acquired 100% of long-distance telco Orbitel by buying the half of the company that it did not already own from Grupo Sarmiento and Grupo Valorem for USD85 million. Orbitel launched VoIP services late last year and is one of three companies licensed to sell long-distance services to the public, in competition with Telecom Colombia and ETB. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, EPM is third largest player in Colombia’s local telephony market, with 1.2 million local telephony clients. It offers services to customers in its home city of Medellin, as well as 17 other municipalities in the Antioquia region and cities including Manizales, Bogotá and Cali. EPM had signed up a total of 140,000 broadband internet users by the end of 2005, and is also the country’s second largest pay-TV provider, providing cable TV access to 208,000 customers in the west of the country.