As of October BTL's internet rates will be $25 for 256Kb, $56 for 512Kb, $88 for 1Mb, $140 for2 Mb, $240 for4Mb, $390 for 8Mb, and as a new service $700 for 16Mb. The new internet rates give an idea of the direction that the company is moving into. On Thursday, BTL held its 8 AGM as a nationalized asset and the announcement was that BTL continues to be one of the most profitable companies in the country. Chairman of BTL, Nestor Vasquez, announced that the company made a whopping 19.6 million dollar profit and while it is big, the profits are 1.4 million dollar less than last year.
The fall in profits however came as no surprise for the company which has been consistently and exceedingly been giving back to customers. Executive Committee Chairman, Anwar Barrow, stated that the company has opened up the Voice Over the Internet Protocol (VOIP) which allows communication via applications that cut into BTL's profits like Viber, WhatsApp, Magic Jack and others which give the same services through internet as BTL would. And it is in this arena that BTL will be making significant investments which necessarily will cut into BTL's profits but for the greater good of the company which is maneuvering to increase penetration in the data arena.
According to Barrow, the company is envisioning that the structure of BTL's service will be significantly changed in the coming years with the focus being on data as opposed to the selling of minutes for talk time, "in ten years, voice is going to be free, you are only going to be paying for data, so we are going to shift where now we are paying for minutes to talk to where you pay for data and voice and data are going to converge."
And as the company plans ahead and anticipates lower profits, the company chairman, Nestor Vasquez, notes that because BTL is a nationalized company, the primary driver should not be only profits but a combination of using the company to assist the economy. Since nationalization that has already become evident by the sheer number of promotions that the company offers on a monthly basis, not least among them is the doubling and tripling of credits through promotions. With the doubling of bandwidth for internet subscribers it is also a sign of the times and the direction where the company is headed. Barrow notes that the plan is to double the broadband customer base for BTL within the next two to three years adding some 6 million dollars more in revenues.
Another area for the company to grow, according to Borrow, is the taking back of cell phone market share which the competitor currently has. In this area, Barrow says BTL is looking at adding 10,000 customers to its cellular base representing an additional 7 million dollars in revenue.
For now however the anticipation is that there will be a slight downward trend in profits which will place the company on better footing as it makes the necessary investments to be able to implement its growth plan.