Montenegro mulls creation of state-owned telco using power grid


The government says it could leverage existing power grid infrastructure to quickly provide coverage across the nation

This week, local media reports from Montenegro suggest that the government are considering forming a state telecoms operator.

According to Montenegrin news service Mina, the government is considering using the 530km electricity grid owned by Crnogorski Elektrodistributivni Sistem (CEDIS) to form the basis of a new telecoms company.

Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic has suggested that a working group be formed to formally investigate the possibility of such a move, including taking inventory of existing infrastructure, examining potential costs, and estimating coverage.

He suggested that such a venture could be highly profitable for the government, whether through direct sales to customers or leasing the infrastructure to the wider industry.

“If we see that it makes sense, we can go one step further, and if not – no harm’s done,” he said.

The concept is also supported by Montenegro’s Finance Minister, Aleksandar Damjanovic, who noted the increased importance that EU governments have placed on nationally controlled critical infrastructure in recent years, given the geopolitical climate.

“This is a good idea and we are going to ensure that in the key EU countries and beyond, these services are, among other things, under the state’s control,” he said.

Montenegro’s fixed broadband industry is currently served by just two national operators: Crnogorski Telekom, a Deutsche Telekom subsidiary, and MTEL, a joint venture between Telekom Srbija and Telekom Srpske.

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