CCT announces layoffs as part of ‘reorganisation’; minister slams cellcos' attitudes

7 Jun 2013

CCT Global Communications, a telecoms operator based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), has sent termination letters to an undisclosed number of employees this week as part of a move to strengthen the company’s prospects in a competitive marketplace, an official has confirmed. Margaret Penn, who chairs the company’s board of directors, told the BVI Beacon that the cuts occurred ‘across the board’, but declined to give details of the number of positions eliminated. However, she added that the company plans to introduce improvements to its services and networks as part of an ongoing ‘transformation’ programme.

Prior to the introduction of the 2006 Telecommunications Act, CCT – established in 1986 as CCT Boatphone – held a monopoly on mobile phone services in the BVI, but has witnessed its market share decline in recent years thanks to aggressive competition from pan-Caribbean regional rivals LIME and Digicel. The latter launched commercial GSM-based services in the BVI, its 30th market worldwide, in November 2008. Meanwhile, LIME, which is owned by UK-based Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), claims to be the country’s largest operator by subscribers.

In related news, speaking at an event to re-launch event for BVI telecoms watchdog the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC), Communications and Works Minister Mark Vanterpool reportedly criticised the trio of cellular operators for their lack of technological initiative. The BVI Beacon quotes him as saying: ‘With the technological environment out there in the world today, I am declaring to you as minister that I am not entirely satisfied that the Virgin Islands is as much on the cutting edge as it should be and as it can be’. He reportedly called for ‘more action and less words’ from the companies.