Melita introduces faster internet, decision on Vodafone-Melita merger next month
The decision by the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority regarding the merger between Vodafone and Melita is expected within a month. The Director General in the Competition Office, Mr Godwin Mangion, told tvm.com.mt that this is the first occasion Maltese authorities are applying European legislation on competition in order to evaluate whether the merger between two companies will badly effect the market.
Meanwhile, Melita has introduced, for the first time in Malta, Gigabit internet, which greatly increases its internet service.
Although the decision by the competent authorities for Melita and Vodafone to join forces is still in the balance, Melita has launched its new Gigapower service, Gigabit internet. With a speed reaching one billion bits per second, this technology allows films and similar material to be downloaded from the internet ten times faster that is possible at present by the fastest speeds. Above all, this should serve as an attraction for companies to invest in Malta.
Melita Chief Executive Harald Roesch told tvm.com.mt that the project should cover the whole country by the end of next year, but this can be delayed in the event the MCCAA decides against its merger with Vodafone.
Harald Roesch stated that “of course the decision will influence the speed with which we can roll out the gigabit internet because this requires a lot of investment and it is a difference if we have to do it alone as Melita or if it is done combined by the company Vodafone Melita”.
The investigation by the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority into this merger has been extended by one month, and the decision is now expected by 12 December.
Director General Godwin Mangion confirmed with tvm.com.mt that the companies have presented a number of clarifications on issues raised. In May the Consumers’ Association had come out against the merger, saying that this could be detrimental to consumers.
Meanwhile, during the launch of Melita’s new project, Parliamentary Secretary for the Digital Economy Silvio Schembri stated that with Gigabit internet, Malta is anticipating the European Commission’s aim by seven years.
Schembri stated that “the probability is that even in the coming years Malta will remain the only country because of all the ingredients it has, and we therefore have to look towards new initiatives and opportunities, particularly and primarily in education and health.”
Gigabit internet is presently available in Valletta, Sliema and St Julians.