Dhiraagu, the incumbent telecom operator of the Maldives had its license renewed for a term of 15 years. Since its establishment in 1988, Dhiraagu enjoyed an exclusivity on the provision of fixed line services. It was also the only company allowed to carry international traffic into the island nation and terminate on any network. We are happy to note that the Telecom Authority of Maldives (TAM) has not extended these exclusivities in the new license that will be effective from January 2009. The move should, at a minimum, have an impact on international incoming call prices to the Maldives, since Dhiraagu’s competitor Wataniya will now be able to carry inward bound traffic and terminate on any network.
Dhiraagu is owned by the Government of Maldives (GoM) and Cable & Wireless of the UK and has been a an important revenue generator for the Government of Maldives. According to LIRNEasia’ Telecom Regulatory Environment survey research, over 9% of GoM’s non-tax revenues came from Dhiraagu.