The National, Wednesday, May 25, 2011
By PATRICK TALU
PAPUA New Guinean Digicel mobile subscribers will get mobile broadband services for the first time as Digicel PNG Ltd moves to third generation (3G) mobiles services with Ericsson, according to statement from Ericsson yesterday.
Operator Digicel Pacific has used Ericsson’s hybrid power system to move from 2G to 3G, providing mobile broadband services throughout PNG.
Ericsson’s solution features a combination of diesel generators, rechargeable batteries and solar panels.
Rajendra Pangrekar, president Ericsson Philippines and Pacific Islands, said: “The solar hybrid power solution is specifically suited to extremely isolated areas outside the power grid, where the materials and manpower can only be delivered by helicopter.”
Only 18% of the population of PNG lives in urban areas, making it one of the most rural countries in the world.
“We see a great interest from operators in the entire region for such solutions as more focus is put on saving operation costs and moving to more environmentally friendly solutions,” Pangrekar said.
He said Digicel would benefit from significantly reduced fuel and manpower costs, while mobile subscribers would be offered affordable internet access
Digicel PNG’s CEO John Mangos, said: “Since launching our 2G network in PNG in 2007, Ericsson has built more than 600 2G/GSM sites for us.
“By introducing the RBS 6000 radio base station, the road to introducing 3G/WCDMA was paved and this convinced us to go ahead and launch 3G. It’s an important move, not only for us, but even more so for our subscribers.”