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January 16, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:42pm

CELLULAR AIR-TIME RESELLING NOT POPULAR IN ITALY

By CBR Staff Writer

A presentation on cellular communications air-time resale at Busacca & Associati’s Mobicom’96 conference last month in Milan by Carlo Loi, president of Startel SpA, the latest candidate for service provision in Italy, showed that the two operators are not enamored of the concept, at least not in public. Bruno Terranova, Telecom Italia Mobile SpA’s North-Central regional manager said, airtime resale increases the churn rate and we don’t want it [in Italy]. Roberto Pellegrini, Telecom Italia Mobile sales director, said he believes certain services can be provided by someone else, but predominantly in a mature market, to users who need services, but not for enlarging the market. Vittorio Colao, OmnitelPronto Italia SpA managing director, said, Why should we give over resale of airtime to someone else and not just control it ourselves with a structure of organizations that provide the services you talk about? Part of the answer is one for in-depth negotiations, not here, Loi responded, adding that he expects to succeed where Martin Dawes failed in Italy with an organization requiring little investment. He wouldn’t say if Startel had been in contact with potential third operator candidates, and Pellegrini and Colao later speculated that Startel would be acquired by the third operator; nonetheless, Loi reports that Startel has meetings scheduled with both Telecom Italia Mobile and Omnitel-Pronto.

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