ETB (company)

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Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogotá S.A. E.S.P.
Type Sociedad Anónima
Traded as BVC: ETB
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 1884
Headquarters Bogotá, Colombia
Key people Fernando Carrizosa Rasch-Isla, (Chairman)
Andrés Perez Velasco, (CEO)
Products Fixed line, Mobile phone, Cable Television and Internet services
Revenue Decrease US$ 841.9 million (2011)
Net income Increase US$ 121.5 million (2011)
Employees 4,329

ETB formally known as Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogotá S.A. (English: Bogotá Telecommunications Company), is the second largest telecommunications company in Colombia. It is headquartered in Bogotá, D.C..

Company history[edit]

ETB was created on August 28, 1884 when a Cuban, José Raimundo Martínez created the Colombian Telephone Company. The company’s first headquarters was in the Arrubla Galleries, on the western side of the Plaza Bolívar, on 10th street and 8th avenue. In 1900, when they had 100 installed lines, a fire destroyed a good part of the Arrubla Galleries and taking with it the facilities and the main office of the Colombian Telephone Company. Six years later, they resumed provision service by the means of The Bogotá Telephone Company. The headquarters of the new company were located on 8th avenue and 20th street, where the principal offices of the company were located.

Although the concession offered for the exploitation of service to The Bogota Telephone Company was for 50 years, the continuous protests by the rate increases led the Council to decide that the municipality should acquire the Company. Thus, since 1932 the Administration of the city assumed control of the service of phone system and in 1940, by means of agreement 79 of the Council, the Telephone Company of Bogotá was created, a decentralized company and a hundred percent city owned.

In 1961, the company entered into central operations with Usaquén, Bosa, Suba and Central Nariño. At the end of the 70s, the company counted close to 400,000 users and since 1985 that figure has grown to 710,000. The 1990s, marked a time of great change for ETB. The name used for 52 years was modified. In 1992, the company became the Telecommunications Company of Bogotá to adapt with their social objective for diversifying their activities.

The implementation of the norms described by the Decree Law 1900 of 1990 and the Law of Public Utilities of 1994 opened the doors for competition that was consolidated in 1996 when other telecommunications companies appeared. In 1997, the Council authorized the conversion of ETB into an action-based company, having its majority partner in the Capital District of Bogotá. In the middle of 1998, the Council approved the sale of ETB’s shares to an international strategic partner. Although this sale was not carried out, the process let the Company close to 1,000 shareholders among their employees, former employees and pensioners. Thus the company was converted by their shares into a mixed capital company.

On January 20, 1998 ETB converted into a national company. The Ministry of Communications extended a license to operate national and international long distance services. December 16 of that year, the company began offering that new service. In 2000, the company began internet operations under the brand ‘Data Mundo’. In 2001, ETB created the Office of Client Defense and put the brand of ‘Plan de Transformación’ (Transformation Plan) to focus the Company on its clients. In 2002, the plan for modernization of the public telephones in Bogotá began. The goal was to change the 11,000 public telephones that functioned with money for 31,000 phones that operated on prepaid card.

On January 20, 2003 the Ministry of Communications awarded ETB, in conjunction with EPM, the license of PCS, which gave them the possibility of entering into the mobile phone market. The last step in ETB’s transformation process occurred in May 2003 when the company carried out the process of stock democratization that permitted the attainment of resources for 245 billion and linked 61,313 Colombians as investors. In August 2003, ETB entered into negotiations for the centers of telephone contracts by the way of a commercial alliance with Publicar. In this way, the company ‘Contact Center of the Americas’ was created.