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Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Dr. Ronald Walcott, CEO of Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (TSTT), about changes in the telecommunications industry, improving efficiencies, and using ICT to facilitate economic growth. Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (TSTT) is the leading telecommunications company in Trinidad and Tobago and the only “Quintuple-Play” provider – offering mobile, fixed-line, broadband, pay TV, security, and other related services on a nationwide basis to both the residential and commercial markets. The company was formed in 1990 through a merger of the Trinidad and Tobago Telephone Company Limited (TELCO) and the Trinidad and Tobago External Telecommunications Company Limited (TEXTEL). The government of the republic of Trinidad and Tobago owns a 51% majority stake in TSTT through a holding company called National Enterprises Limited, and Cable & Wireless (West Indies) Limited owns the remaining 49%. In the 25 years since TSTT was founded, the telecommunications industry has undergone profound changes. “This has been exponentially more the case in the last five or so years,” explains Dr. Ronald Walcott, CEO of TSTT. “We’ve transformed ourselves from being a traditional voice-centric telecom company to become a full-service provider operating in a highly competitive environment. We provide data center services, hosted solutions, six different wired and wireless solutions, as well as TV entertain-


ment, a market we entered into in 2009. We also operate a number of stores and have a widely distributed dealer channel.” STRATEGIC PLAN In response to the shifting industry, in 2016 TSTT created a new five-year strategic plan. “The fundamental tenet of that plan was to transform ourselves from a legacy 20th century telecom to an agile 21st century broadband and communications company,” says Dr. Walcott. “We knew what we had to do in terms of the technology, but we needed to fund it. The plan is TT$4 billion, which is roughly US$600 million. Once we were able to secure the financing, of which half was externally funded, we immediately went about changing our technology and upgrading our networks.” Many of these technology changes have now been successfully implemented. “We’re the only provider in Trinidad and Tobago to offer mobile LTE with 4G technology,” says Dr. Walcott. “We’ve made other significant technological improvements, we’ve upgraded our packet core, our Data Centre is now TIA -942 certified and facilitates public cloud offering, so we now have the ability to provide cloud solutions and hosted solutions to our enterprise customers, we have launched an E-tender application,

Sustainable Business Magazine 04/17  

Sustainable Business Magazine