US embassy cable - 02ROME586

AMBASSADOR'S LUNCH WITH MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS

Identifier: 02ROME586
Wikileaks: View 02ROME586 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Rome
Created: 2002-02-06 13:30:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: ECON ECPS ECPS IT ITECON
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ROME 000586 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON, ECPS, ECPS, IT, ITECON 
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S LUNCH WITH MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS 
 
 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
1.   (U)  DURING HIS INITIAL MEETING WITH THE MINISTER OF 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        ROME  00586  01 OF 02  061352Z 
COMMUNICATIONS, THE AMBASSADOR PROMOTED MOTOROLA'S BID FOR 
THE TENDER FOR A NATIONAL PUBLIC SAFETY DIGITAL MOBILE 
COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM, SOUGHT FAIR MARKET ACCESS FOR U.S. 
FIRMS, AND OUTLINED THE U.S. MILITARY'S NEED FOR RADIO AND 
TELEVISION COMMUNICATIONS FREQUENCIES.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2.   (U)  MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS, MAURIZIO GASPARRI, 
HOSTED THE AMBASSADOR AT LUNCH THURSDAY, JANUARY 31. 
UNDER-SECRETARY GIANCARLO INNOCENZI AND MIN. GIANFRANCO 
GIORGOLO, THE DIPLOMATIC ADVISOR, DCM POPE, AND ECMIN DEAN 
ALSO ATTENDED. 
 
AFNS 
---- 
 
3.   (U)  THE AMBASSADOR USED THE OPPORTUNITY TO RAISE THE 
NEED OF THE US AMERICAN FORCES NETWORK SOUTH (AFNS) TO 
PROVIDE RADIO AND TELEVISION COMMUNICATIONS ACCESS TO THE 
U.S. MILITARY COMMUNITY IN ITALY (AROUND 65,000 PEOPLE) AS 
NECESSARY FOR FORCE PROTECTION AND FOR MORALE.  SINCE THE 
ITALIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE WILL NOT EXTEND LOANER 
FREQUENCIES BEYOND THE END OF 2002, DOD IS CONCERNED THAT WE 
MAY LOSE OUR ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE WITH OFF-DUTY MILITARY 
AND THEIR FAMILIES.  THE MINISTER SAID THAT HE WOULD LOOK 
INTO IT. 
 
4.  (SBU) ON FRIDAY, FEB. 1, ING. GIGANTINO FROM THE MINISTRY 
OF COMMUNICATION AND THE INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBLE FOR TRACKING 
THE AFNS ISSUE, CALLED US SENDING STATE OFFICE AND THE 
ECONOMIC MINISTER SEPARATELY TO SAY THAT THE MINISTRY WOULD 
HAVE NO PROBLEMS WITH THE MINISTRY OF DEFENSE AND ITALIAN 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        ROME  00586  01 OF 02  061352Z 
DEFENSE GENERAL STAFF (IDGS) EXTENDING THE LOAN OF THE 
FREQUENCIES BEYOND THE END OF THE YEAR AS LONG AS THE MOD AND 
IDGS AGREED.  THE MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATION, HOWEVER, HAS NO 
CIVILIAN FREQUENCIES THAT THEY COULD LEND.  THE MINISTRY 
WANTED TO KNOW WHAT THE U.S. PROPOSALS WERE FOR A SOLUTION 
WHEN THE LOAN PERIOD EXPIRES AT THE END OF THE YEAR. 
(COMMENT:  DESPITE THE MINISTER'S OPTIMISTIC VIEW THAT HE 
COULD FIX THIS, THE FOLLOW-UP CALL INDICATES ESSENTIALLY NO 
PROGRESS.) 
 
FAIR MARKET ACCESS FOR U.S. FIRMS 
--------------------------------- 
 
5.  (U) THE AMBASSADOR ALSO EMPHASIZED THE NEED TO HAVE A 
LEVEL PLAYING FIELD IN THE BUSINESS WORLD.  ITALY AND THE 
U.S. ARE IN AN INCREASINGLY GLOBAL MARKET PLACE AND THE RULES 
NEED TO BE TRANSPARENT AND FAIR.  IF IT TAKES ONLY TWO DAYS 
FOR AN AMERICAN TO SWITCH TELEPHONE PROVIDERS, AND 12 DAYS IN 
EUROPE, IT IS HARD TO UNDERSTAND WHY IT SHOULD 28-35 DAYS IN 
ITALY.  SUCH DELAYS LOOK LIKE A BARRIER TO THOSE COMPANIES 
WHO WISH TO PROVIDE COMMERCIAL ALTERNATIVES TO THE MONOPOLY 
PROVIDER. 
 
6.  (U)  THE AMBASSADOR RAISED THE JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER AS AN 
EXAMPLE WHERE THE U.S. WAS LOOKING FOR TOP QUALITY PARTNERS, 
THOSE WHO PRODUCE TOP-NOTCH PRODUCTS.  WE LOOK FORWARD TO 
ITALY'S BECOMING A PARTNER IN THE JSF.  EVERYONE WOULD BE 
ABLE TO COMPETE FOR CONTRACTS, AND THIS IS WHAT WE WOULD LIKE 
TO SEE ON ITALY'S SIDE. 
 
MOTOROLA 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        ROME  00586  01 OF 02  061352Z 
-------- 
 
7.  (SBU) REINFORCING THE EMBASSY'S ADVOCACY WITH ITALY FOR 
MOTOROLA TO WIN AN ITALIAN INTERIOR MINISTRY TENDER FOR A 
NATIONAL PUBLIC SAFETY DIGITAL MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM, 
THE AMBASSADOR AGAIN EMPHASIZED THE NEED FOR 'BUYING THE 
BEST' AND 'MOTOROLA TECHNOLOGY IN THIS FIELD IS THE BEST'. 
THE MINISTER UNDERLINED THAT THIS IS NOT A MINISTRY OF 
COMMUNICATIONS DECISION, BUT THAT HE UNDERSTOOD THE 
AMBASSADOR'S CONCERN THAT THE COMPETITIVE PROCESS BE OPEN. 
THE AMBASSADOR REITERATED THAT A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD ALSO 
REQUIRES AN OPENNESS IN TENDERING AND MAKING SELECTION 
DECISIONS.  (COMMENT:  EVEN THOUGH THIS IS A MINISTRY OF 
INTERIOR DECISION, WE BELIEVE THAT GASPARRI IS LIKELY TO BE A 
KEY PLAYER IN THE SELECTION PROCESS.) 
 
WIRELESS LOCAL LOOP 
------------------- 
 
8.  (U) GASPARRI NOTED THAT THEY WERE HAVING A COMPETITION 
FOR THE FIXED TELEPHONE WIRELESS LOCAL LOOP WHICH SHOULD 
IMPROVE SERVICE TO THE CUSTOMER.  IN MOBILE TELEPHONY THERE 
ARE FOUR COMPETITORS AND SO SERVICE IS GOOD, BUT IN FIXED 
TELEPHONY THERE IS A DOMINANT OPERATOR WHO CONTROLS THE 
MARKET AND SO THERE IS LITTLE COMPETITION AND LESS SERVICE. 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ2952 
 
PAGE 01        ROME  00586  02 OF 02  061352Z 
ACTION EUR-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   AGRE-00  AID-00   CEA-01   CIAE-00  CIP-00   COME-00 
      CTME-00  DODE-00  ITCE-00  DOTE-00  SRPP-00  EB-00    EXME-00 
      E-00     FAAE-00  UTED-00  FCC-01   VC-00    FRB-00   H-01 
      TEDE-00  INR-00   ITC-01   LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01 
      NSAE-00  NSCE-00  OMB-01   OPIC-01  PM-00    ACE-00   SP-00 
      SSO-00   SS-00    STR-00   TEST-00  TRSE-00  USIE-00  SNIS-00 
      NISC-00  PMB-00   DRL-02   G-00     SAS-00   SWCI-00    /010W 
                  ------------------62D6D5  061352Z /38 
R 061330Z FEB 02 
FM AMEMBASSY ROME 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1995 
INFO AMCONSUL FLORENCE 
AMCONSUL MILAN 
AMCONSUL NAPLES 
 
UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 ROME 000586 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON, ECPS, IT 
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S LUNCH WITH MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS 
 
HE THOUGHT IT IS NECESSARY TO LIBERALIZE THE MARKET AND 
IMPROVE THE CHOICES AVAILABLE. 
 
BIO 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        ROME  00586  02 OF 02  061352Z 
--- 
 
9.  MAURIZIO GASPARRI IS ONE OF THE CLOSEST ADVISERS OF THE 
NATIONAL ALLIANCE LEADER AND DEPUTY PM GIANFRANCO FINI. 
GASPARRI WAS BORN IN ROME ON JULY 18, 1957, GRADUATED FROM 
HIGH SCHOOL, AND WORKED AS A JOURNALIST UNTIL 1994.  HE WAS 
ELECTED TO THE CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES IN 1992 WITH THE RIGHTIST 
ITALIAN SOCIAL MOVEMENT.  IN THE CHAMBER HE HAS BEEN A MEMBER 
OF COMMITTEES FOR PRODUCTIVE ACTIVITIES, DEFENSE AND JUSTICE. 
 HE WAS UNDER SECRETARY IN THE INTERIOR MINISTRY UNDER THE 
FIRST BERLUSCONI GOVERNMENT.  HE IS MARRIED AND HAS ONE 
DAUGHTER.  HE DOES NOT SPEAK MUCH ENGLISH, ALTHOUGH HE 
APPEARS TO UNDERSTAND SOME. 
SEMBLER 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
> 
 2002ROME00586 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED 


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