The National, Tuesday June 25th, 2013
NATIONAL mobile phone company, bemobile will enter the Indonesian market as it plans to connect half of all Melanesian countries.
State Enterprises Minister Ben Micah said that after the signing of an US$88 million (K192 million) loan with ANZ Bank last week.
Micah said the loan would allow bemobile to co-finance its share equity of 51% while the Fiji National Provident Fund would own 40% with the remaining shared between other parties.
He said with the new partnership, bemobile would rollout its network in the coming months throughout PNG.
Micah added the partnership between Vodafone and bemobile would see three Melanesian countries – Fiji, Solomon Islands and PNG – covered and connected.
He said the company had plans to enter the Indonesian market to connect about five of the 12 million Melanesians in West Papua, besides other Indonesian provinces.
Micah said the visit to Indonesia had opened up vast opportunities for PNG, particularly bemobile, to enter the Indonesian market.
“This is a retry of bemobile in the industry but it would be bigger and better because so far there is only one player in the market,” he said.
“This will be healthy for the people as there will be competition now with the improved services and network.”
Micah said bemobile planned to enter other markets in the Pacific such as the Cook Islands, Micronesia and Australia’s Northern Territory.
He said the government would look into improving Telikom with a loan of US$202 million (K453.92 million).
He said the internet rate would be very cheap with the arrangement, with Huawei Technologies to improve the Telikom network in the country.
He said they planned to separate bemobile and Telikom so they operated separately with their own board and management.