ArmenTel to give up ‘monopoly’ on IP telephony by end-2007

Armenian national PTO ArmenTel is to relinquish its official monopoly on the provision of IP telephony by the end of the year, in the face of an inexorable rise of ‘illegal’ operators offering VoIP in the country. According to the Arka news agency, ArmenTel Director General Oleg Bliznyuk told reporters yesterday that the telco is currently the ‘monopolist de jure only’ in the segment, with many service providers using its network to offer VoIP – often at a poor level of quality. Bliznyuk says that once the monopoly is removed, the competitive environment will improve amid increased sector transparency, and the only companies that will survive will be those that can promise high levels of service quality.