VOL. 110 | NO. 13 | Friday, January 19, 1996
1/19 jts Intertel
Paging Ukraine, El Salvador
Intertel joins international telecommunications market
By JAMES SNYDER
The Daily News
Local entrepreneur William Yandell III is taking phone paging to El Salvador and the Ukraine this year, getting in on the ground floor of the expanding telecommunications markets abroad.
Yandells company Intertel is working in a partnership with Mtel, based in Jackson, Miss., to set up a paging system in El Salvador. The deal closed last week, and the project should be running by the second quarter of this year, Yandell said.
"In two or three months, theyll have as good a system as we have in the U.S.," Yandell said.
With the large Salvadoran population in the United States, Mtel will provide international paging between the United States and El Salvador, Yandell said. Mtel has a similar service between the United States and Mexico.
The deal came together when Yandell, working in Jackson, came to know Miguel Salaveria, a former Salvadoran ambassador to the United States.
Salaveria owned some farm land business interests in Mississippi, and through a friend Yandell met Salaveria. Salaveria, in turn, had friends that owned a paging license in El Salvador. The connection lined up the Intertel-Mtel partnership to create the paging service, Yandell said.
For the deal in the Ukraine, it was another story of knowing people. A friend of Yandells working in the Ukraine knew Larisa Donya, who owns a paging license in the country. So the friend put Donya and Yandell in touch.
After a trip to the Ukraine and a survey of the literature stories in The Economist, reports from the State Department and off the Internet Yandell consulted with partner John Miller and decided it was a good move now, with only a few small companies to compete with.
Ukraine is one of the biggest countries in Eurasia, with a population of 55 million people. Yandell sees great opportunities accompanying the potential risks.
"We have to go in when nobody else wants to go in," Yandell said. "Thats the risk we take."
Intertel is providing some capital while rounding up investors to finance, build and operate the paging system in the Ukraine.
Yandell has worked in telecommunications since 1987. He owns paging companies in rural areas of Mississippi and Alabama, as well as Pacificom, a cellular telephone service on the Mariana Islands in the Pacific Rim. The majority of his investors are in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi, he said.
A native of Mississippi, Yandell has a degree in international studies from Rhodes College. Understanding the telecommunications industry helps him coordinate projects and investments.
But he admits hes no technician.
"I dont do wires," he said.