Key initiatives outlined at NICTA launching

Business, Normal

The National, Monday, May 16, 2011

THE official launch of the National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) last week as the country’s sole regulator of ICT has already produced key initiatives that will allow  telecommunication networks to introduce new technologies to PNG.
NICTA took over from Pangtel as the regulator last year.
Speaking at the launch, Communication and Information Minister Patrick Tammur explained that some initiatives and programmes had been designed to promote ICT in remote parts of PNG.
One such initiative was the inclusion of the re-planning of the GSM900 frequency band.
This would allow for the introduction of mobile brand band services, particularly the 3G by the three existing operators – Telikom PNG Ltd, Digicel PNG and bemobile – to simultaneously provide current and advanced services.
“You may have noted in the media that Digicel is testing and promoting the rollout of such services.
“Telikom PNG has been granted a permit to test mobile functionalities on their CDMA network, and has also been allocated the required number resources for the purpose,” Tammur said.
Another was the IGIS project, which Tammur explained would provide integration and real-time sharing of information technology processes and systems in the public sector, which should translate into better and efficient service delivery to the people.
He said phase one of this project would see the link up of all government departments in NCD, as well as link up the Central, East and West New Britain, East and West Sepik and Eastern Highlands provinces.
Tammur said this was to promote meaningful sharing of information within and across the departments and agencies and also to avoid duplication of processes.
The IGIS project network would be developed by Telikom PNG and Huawei Technology Ltd of China, through a US$53 million loan agreement.
He said another impact communication project was the implementation of the US$15 million rural communication project (RCP).
A feature of the RCP is the universal access scheme as part of the government’s community service obligation.
It would be piloted in East Sepik and Chimbu and would also see the setting up of nearly 60 internet points of access in other districts.