New mobile network welcomed

Business

By CLARISSA MOI
INFORMATION Communication Technology Minster Timothy Masiu is open to new mobile network operators in the country to encourage competition in the telecommunications industry.
Masiu said this when asked about the third mobile network to be rolled out by Digitec Communications Ltd.
He said that the National Information Communications Technology Authority (Nicta) had issued a licence to Digitec Communications Ltd two years ago and the service would be rolled out soon.
“The company was given a licence two years ago and they are coming in now,” Masiu said.
“We are just waiting for them to come in and roll out their service.
“We need to bring in one or two more mobile network operators to make competition easier and also let people to choose which company they want to use for communication.
“Once they come in, it should be really good and healthy for business for the country’s telecommunications industry in the country.”
Masiu said they had not put any timeframe for them to start operating.
He said a lot of business activities had been disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, such as manpower shortages and restrictions on movement in and out of the country, resulting in equipment not coming in.
“If it was normal and there was no Covid-19, they could have been here and launched their mobile services,” he said. “We don’t want to give them a timeframe and push them.”
Masiu said there was also another mobile network company; Dubai-based Awal telecommunications company, who had shown interest to operate in the country’s telecommunications industry.
He said they were issued licence to operate few years ago but had not rolled out its service.
“They have turned up at my office and have shown interest,” he said.
“But it’s really how they come in and show their commitment.
“They are just sorting out issues with the licence that was given to them 10 years ago. They want to change their business name so it’s with the IPA (Investment Promotion Authority).
“But it’s important for us to see what kind of commitment they have and can really move the industry in the country.
“My interest is to see we reach the rural villages in the country.
“I want to see people in the rural areas having access to telecommunication services.”
Masiu urged local ICT companies to work together and form a local mobile network operator.

10 comments

  • Yes, my suggestion is that although we have telicom and bmobile operating in the country too but Digicel is being operating as a monopoly operator, which conquer every parts of the nation. If the NICTA ministry is allowing other operators like, the new one datec then there should be proper plans to compette with the GIANT bigger and better network company like Digicel.
    Above all thank you to the Minister for such services to bring” Papua new Guinea a black richest nation in the world”.

  • Well done Minister. Digecel is another huge profitable company here in PNG so far. No competition with them even BMoblie is not effective in our country. At least another company can give a compete so that the rate will drop.

  • This is good business as far as we consumers are aware. Bring in more competition so they can share the spoil.

  • Thanks Minister, that’s the way to go…since there wasn’t enough or other wise none competition, Digicel have been taking advantage all through these times since establishment back in around 2006 & 2007. The rates and charges were very high to the citizens of PNG. They are charging customers at their own way and wish which we have no choice but to go for that… with this new telecommunication service provider comes into operation, there will be competition and the rates and charges may drop…

  • I think at 3 mobile operators in P.N.G would be okay.
    1. DIGICEL
    2. TELIKOM/BE-MOBILE
    3. DIGITEC

    I hope NICTA ensures these mobile operators build infrastructure according IEEE standard. Having more mobile operators means PNG citizens will be exposed to more EM radiation, which presents a great health risk. EM radiation is known to cause cancer.

  • Much appreciated Honorable Minister. Economically speaking, this nation certainly needs competition in this industry just as the other industries to bring the benefit of value-for-money back to our people. As much as we appreciate Digicel and NICTA for allowing our people to experience the use of mobile phones and bringing ease to some of the struggles that we faced with communication, we do welcome more operators as more operators would mean more competition, and more competition would indisputably bring fair prices for us. Again, thank you honorable Minister and PM. God bless PNG.

  • Good work Minister. Digicel is one of the very expensive mobile network in the country. I would suggested if the government empower Telikom PNG to roll out its mobile network. I find Telikom the cheapest in the country. However they have not rolled out in the rural PNG and thats the real big issue. I can only use Telikom in main towns like Port Moresby, Lae My Hagen Wewak but what about Kerema, Tari, Mendi, Vanimo, Maprik ,Aitape Kiunga etc.

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