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Gibtelecom Limited
Industry Telecommunications
Predecessor Gibraltar Nynex Communications
Founded Gibraltar, 2001
Headquarters 15/21 John Mackintosh Square, Gibraltar
Area served
Key people
Joseph Garcia (Chairman), Tim Bristow (CEO)
Products GibWireline
Services Fixed-line and mobile telephony, broadband and fixed-line internet services
Revenue GIP 30 million
Owner Government of Gibraltar (50%)
Telekom Slovenije (50%)
Number of employees

Gibtelecom is the largest telecommunications provider in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar.[2] Its headquarters is located on John Mackintosh Square.[3]


The first telephones were introduced to Gibraltar in 1886 by a private company which was later taken over by the colonial authorities. Since 1926, the telephone service was operated by the City Council.[4] Upon the approval of the 1969 Constitution and the dissolution of the City Council, the telephone service was transferred to the newly formed Government of Gibraltar. Until 1990, all telephone services were operated by the Gibraltar Government Telephone Department. International circuits were provided by Cable & Wireless, which had been originally founded as the Falmouth, Malta, Gibraltar Telegraph Company in 1869. This later operated as the Eastern Telegraph Company from Mount Pleasant in Gibraltar. However, Cable & Wireless left Gibraltar in 1987.[5] On 1 January 1988, British Telecom (BT) and the Government of Gibraltar formed a joint venture company called Gibraltar Telecommunications International Ltd (known by its commercial brand Gibtel) to operate Gibraltar's international telecommunications services.[6] Gibtel was subsequently granted a licence to offer mobile telephony introducing a GSM900 network.

In 1990, the Government decided to privatise its Telephone Department and therefore entered into a joint venture with Nynex of the United States. Gibraltar Nynex Communications Ltd (GNC) became responsible for fixed-line telephony. GNC was the first acquisition of Nynex outside the Americas.[7] In 1997, GNC, through its wholly owned subsidiary, GNC Networks, commenced Internet services. GNC Networks was later renamed GibConnect. ADSL services were introduced in 2002.

In 2001, BT sold its 50% stake in Gibtel to GNC. Both companies subsequently merged to form Gibtelecom, a joint venture between the Government of Gibraltar and Nynex's successor company, Verizon. The name Gibtelecom begun to be used in July 2002, and as of 1 October 2003 this name was formally adopted by the company (which up until then was still Gibraltar Nynex Communications).[8] In April 2007, Verizon sold its shares to Telekom Slovenije[1] which is the incumbent part-State owned telecommunications operator in Slovenia and is quoted on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange.[1] Telekom Slovenije paid 36.7m for Verizon's 50 per cent stake in Gibtelecom.[9]

In 2009, the Government of Gibraltar announced it may sell its stake in Gibtelecom.[9] However, as at October 2010, no decision has been made.


Gibtelecom's Board of Directors is made up of six directors, whereas the owners (the Government of Gibraltar and Telekom Slovenije) nominate three each. The current Chairman is Joseph Garcia, Minister for Enterprise, Development & Technology and Deputy Chief Minister of Gibraltar, which succeeded Joe Holliday in December 2011. Holliday was appointed to this post as Minister for Telecommunications in 2007.[10] However, in October 2010, the Government of Gibraltar announced that EU Communications Directives had to be enforced so that a same Minister cannot "exercise powers under the Directives and also be involved in ownership and control functions of a telecommunications company in Gibraltar". Therefore, competences over Telecommunications were transferred to the Minister of Housing, remaining Holliday as Chairman of Gibtelecom.[11]

Tim Bristow is the CEO, a post he holds since the company's foundation in 2001. At that time he was the Financial Secretary of Gibraltar, a post he held for several years.[7]


Gibtelecom is authorised to provide fixed line, internet, mobile, satellite and other radio-communication services under Gibraltar's Communications Act 2006. This authorisation supplements the licences issued by the Government of Gibraltar on 1 August 2003 for a 15-year period, which in turn replaced the previous licences issued to GNC in May 1990 and Gibtel in January 1988.[8]

Gibtelecom is structured around three brands: GibWireline, Gibtel and GibConnect.

  • GibWireline is the brand under which fixed line telephony services are provided. Gibtelecom numbers are eight digits long including a 200 prefix (since December 2007).[12]
  • Gibtel is the mobile phone services brand (GSM Network Identifier: GIBTEL). Gibtelecom offers both GSM and 3G services,[13] and has kept the old brand from Gibraltar Telecommunications International.
  • GibConnect offers internet connectivity, providing solutions ranging from dial-up and ADSL accesses to corporate internet links.[1] Gibtelecom has kept GNC's old brand.

The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA) has designated Gibtelecom as having Significant Market Power (SMP) and therefore it has imposed certain obligations on Gibtelecom, with price controls being one of them.[8] Gibtelecom has also been obliged to unbundle the local loop, although none of the other Gibraltar-based telecom providers have asked to use it.[8]

International connectivity

Telefónica of Spain, Cable & Wireless and Interoute of the United Kingdom provide international connectivity to Gibtelecom.[14] Gibtelecom is also a partner in the Europe India Gateway cable system, which has a landing point in Gibraltar.[15]


Gibtelecom is the official sponsor of the Gibtelecom International Chess Festival annually held in Gibraltar since 2003.[16]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Gibtelecom Company Profile
  2. "Competition hots up to bring still better deals and more telecommunications services" (PDF). Gibraltar International, Finance and Business. Winter 2008–09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. - Contact Information
  4. Stephen Constantine (2009). Community and identity. The making of modern Gibraltar since 1704. Manchester University Press. p. 337. ISBN 978-0-7190-8054-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Gibtelecom acaba de lanzar el roaming de prepago con Vodafone, EDA Press (in Spanish)
  6. BT Archives: 1988
  7. 7.0 7.1 Interview with Mr. Tim Bristow (2005)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Abridged Annual Report for the year ended 31 December 2008
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Gibtelecom sale in prospect, but experience does not bode well" (PDF). Gibraltar International, Finance and Business. Winter 2008–09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Press release: composition and portfolio of the Government of Gibraltar, January 2007.
  11. Vinet becomes new Minister for Telecoms, Gibraltar Chronicle, 29 October 2010
  12. Gibtelecom fixed line numbering change. Gibtelecom infonews (March 2008)
  13. Giblaltar mobile services in the web of the GSM Association
  14. Interoute and Gibtelecom bring new telecommunications choice to Gibraltar, January 14, 2010.
  15. "du invests in $700m Europe India Gateway undersea cable system" (Press release). du. 2008-05-08. Retrieved 2010-05-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Previous Winners of the Gibraltar Chess Congress

External links