The unknown battle for PPC’s entry into telecommunications

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PPC President and CEO George Stassis’ plan to expand in telecommunications is causing tensions, not only within government, but also in the telecommunications market.

An underground controversy that has lasted for many months within the government has erupted in recent days due to the non-submission of an offer by PPC to the call for tenders for the development of very high speed networks (UltraFast BroadBand UFBB) September 17.

The plan of the President and CEO of PPC, Georges stassis, for the expansion in telecommunications with the development of a national network that will offer wholesale Internet access services is at the origin of voltage, not only in government, but also in the telecommunications market.

According to sources, the PPC brought the case to the Prime Minister’s Office complaining that an extension of the tender should have been granted so that PPC can express its interest. In the end, only OTE and Grid Telecom – TERNA Energy consortium was included in the call for tenders. Those who think PPC had enough time to prepare claim that a few months ago, during the first stage of the bidding process for the UFBB, there was a further extension for PPC to catch up. his delay. They also believe that the noise that has reached the Prime Minister’s office has been aimed at canceling the UFBB’s tender so that PPC is better prepared for the next one.

PPC management says nationwide fiber optic network development plan will boost competition. Stassis told analysts during the first half results presentation last week that PPC has “A unique competitive advantage and the ability to develop the fiber optic network quickly and at low cost on the basis of the existing infrastructure”, referring to the HEDNO network. The total investment, according to the same presentation, will reach 680 million euros by 2026, from 2022.

Others believe that PPC’s continuous ads are getting in the way of the bidding process. Some argue that there is an interest on the part of a foreign group who wants to develop a fiber optic network in Greece, but “see no place after PPC ads.” However, the specific names of international groups interested in the Greek fiber optic market have not been heard.

From Tellas to new networks

However, Stassis’ interest in telecommunications is no accident. From 2001 to 2006 he worked at Tellas, as a member of the management team and as executive director of strategic projects and purchasing. With Tellas, PPC initially attempted to enter telecommunications, but was unsuccessful. It was eventually sold to today’s Wind Hellas. Stassis has also worked for years in the Romanian market, at the head of the Italian energy group ENEL. Romania has one of the cheapest and fastest Internet access services in the world thanks to the network created on electricity poles.

ENEL had set up Open fiber in Italy, the largest fiber optic network management company to provide wholesale services to other telecommunications groups. A few weeks ago, there was an agreement for the Australian Macquarie (who acquired 49% of HEDNO) to buy 40% of Open Fiber for 2.12 billion euros. The Open Fiber network already reaches 12 million households in Italy with a target of reaching 19 million. The government of Mario Draghi seems to have put on ice a project to merge Open Fiber with FiberCop. The company to which the secondary network (the cabin-to-home network) of the former Telecom Italia monopoly has been transferred. The merger would create a single company that would manage the fiber optic infrastructure in Italy in order to develop broadband services more quickly.

The plan of the previous Italian government also supported the arguments of the representatives of the Greek government who stressed that there should be a unified infrastructure for access to fiber optic networks in our country as well. This way there will be no waste of resources and it will be possible to accelerate the transition to speed up networks up to 1 Gbit / s. The PPC effort seeks to reverse this logic. The Draghi government’s apparent change of course, which may be temporary as it comes under heavy pressure from Telecom Italia, supports Stassi’s plans for two or more access networks.

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