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August 21, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

There is still no resolution of the row between France Telecom and Ameritech Corp on the one hand and the Polish authorities on the other over the allegations of bad faith in connection with the PTK Centertel Ltd cellular joint venture with Telecom Poland SA, in which the two have invested over $250m since 1991. They agreed to build a stop-gap analog network for Centertel to give the Polish military time to free up the frequencies needed for a digital service to the European standard, on the clear understanding that Centertel would get a digital license when the time came. Then Telecom Poland decided it did not want to bid for a Groupe Speciale Mobile license as part of Centertel, stymieing the French and US partners, because their agreement says that none of the partners will operate a second cellular service without the others. Now the foreigners are seeking $1bn in damages from the Polish government in international arbitration. The government says coldly that it is not bound by the decisions of its predecessors, an attitude that will serve Poland ill internationally.

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