IRISH cell phone company Digicel Pacific has been awarded a licence to operate in Papeete, French Polynesia.
Digicel will invest US$100 million (K273 million) there and launch a nationwide state-of-the-art global system for mobile (GSM) network for affordable communication services.
Digicel, self-claimed to be the fastest growing telecommunications operator in the Pacific, welcomed the award from minister for communications Teva Rohfritsch.
The telco has confirmed that Digicel Pacific, which already operates in six countries in the region, was now eligible to launch GSM communications to operate in the country in the near future.
Digicel Pacific said in a statement the initial launch plans would see Digicel create over 100 jobs for locals with a further 500 expected to gain employment, indirectly, through the retail and distribution network.
Digicel said it would work alongside other operators to offer choice and to enhance and develop French Polynesia’s telecommunications infrastructure and to drive economic development for the country and the region.
Digicel Pacific chief executive officer Vanessa Slowey praised the government of French Polynesia and said: “Digicel is delighted to have been awarded a telecoms operator’s licence for French Polynesia and that we will immediately begin our plans to launch in French Polynesia with an expected US$100 million investment.”
“Digicel strongly believes in the importance of partnership and we want to work closely with the Government, operators and other stakeholders, to enhance and develop telecommunications within the region to the benefit of all,” Slowey said.
Digicel operates in six markets: Samoa launched in November 2006; PNG in July 2007; Tonga in May 2008; Vanuatu in June 2008; Fiji in November 2008; and Nauru in August last year.
The telco has 10.3 million subscribers across 32 markets.