|Founded||As ROM-POST-TELECOM – 1989
As Romtelecom – 1991
|Nikolai Beckers, CEO|
|Products||Fixed-line telephony, Internet services, Mobile telephony, Satellite television|
|Revenue||€930 million (2005)|
|€232.4 million (2005 Q2)|
Number of employees
Romtelecom was the largest telecommunications company in Romania; the majority of shares were held by the Greek telecommunications company OTE (54.01% of shares). The Romanian state also had a minority stake of 45.99% in the company. The company had a monopoly for the provision of fixed telephony services until January 1, 2003. Currently, according to the OTE Group 2006 1st Quarter Results Press Release, Romtelecom has 3,835,647 fixed telephony lines, down from 4,279,038 at the end of 1st quarter 2005. As of 24 March 2013 when Zapp network operating on CDMA was closed down, Romtelecom remained with the only CDMA network in the country until 1 January 2015 when the network was shutted down, putting an end to CDMA technology in the country.
In 1930, Societatea Anonimă Română de Telefoane (SART, "Romanian Telephone Company, Ltd.") was founded, more than 90% of its value being a foreign investment from ITT.
During this period (1930–1933), SART commissioned Palatul Telefoanelor (The Telephone Palace), a historic building in Bucharest. Although the building has suffered from several earthquakes and a bombardment, it is still standing, and has recently undergone a process of reconstruction and reconsolidation.
In 1949, SART was nationalised and turned into a division of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. The slow pace of technological development that ensued was in accordance with a more general trend in the country during the Communist period, which lasted until 1989.
In December 1989, ROM-POST-TELECOM was created as a post and telecommunications operator, independent of the Ministry. The current name of Romtelecom was given after a reorganization in July 1991, when the state-owned company was also given the monopoly for basic telecommunications services.
In 1997 a share of 35% was sold the Greek company OTE. A corruption case arose around details of this privatisation, but eventually no measures were taken.
OTE has since acquired an additional 18% of the shares and has thus become the majority share holder of the company.
In April 2009 Romtelecom launched first CDMA 420 MHz network in the country under the brand "Clicknet Mobile".
The company is often criticised for poor services as well as expensive fees, especially when compared with other telecommunications companies. Poor policy, such as constantly increasing fees for local calls (where 90% of all calls occur) and lowering fees for international calls (that are still twice as expensive as those offered by mobile or fixed alternatives) have driven subscribers away from Romtelecom to other companies after the fixed-line telecommunications market was liberalised in 2003. Additionally, 250,000 fixed line customers out of 5.4 million subscribers nationwide currently subscribe to other companies, such as RDS.Tel or Astral Telecom (now part of UPC Romania). Nonetheless, as of 2005, Romtelecom still maintains approximately 95% market share in the fixed line telephony market. However, as of 2007, the company is in a process of severely lowering tariffs, offering all-inclusive plans, and triple play system in order to both gain new subscribers and recover lost customers.
Romtelecom owns 30% of the Cosmote România mobile phone operator (the ex-Cosmorom), as well as 100% of the internet provider "Clicknet.ro", the television digital satellite platform Dolce and CyberHost data center facilities.
- Official website
- S.A.R de T. Embossing on glass insulator of telephone lines.
- S.A.R. de T. comany's and CFR's old openwire telephone network. Photos, draws, historical information.