Fielding questions in parliament about the slump which saw United Telecommunication Services (UTS’s) revenues slump from ANG13.6 million (USD7.5 million) in 2011 to just ANG3 million in 2012, Earl Balborda, Minister of Transport, Traffic and Urban Planning, blamed ‘the changing [telecoms] landscape on the island’, and suggested that the sharp fall was in line with larger global trends. The company’s 2012 revenues represented its worst results since 2005, when it suffered an ANG54 million loss. Balborda also claimed that UTS suffered badly from frequency interference, but has since resolved the issue.
According to TodaySXM.com Balborda also addressed points raised by local politician Helmin Wiels, an outspoken critic of the company’s business practices, who but was assassinated earlier this month. On 19 March Wiels questioned the wisdom of UTS investing in ‘risky ventures’ overseas, rather than focusing its energies in its domestic market. Balborda confirmed that the company’s loss-making subsidiaries in Suriname and Saint Kitts & Nevis have now been put up for sale, adding that the door for strategic cooperation may be left open in the future.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Willemstad-based UTS counts mobile subsidiaries in Bonaire (Chippie Bonaire), Sint Maarten (UTS Sint Maarten), Saint Martin & Saint Barthelemy (UTS Caraibe), St Eustatius (Chippie St Eustatius), Saba (Chippie Saba), Saint Kitts & Nevis (UTS Cariglobe) and Suriname (UNIQA).