By PATRICK TALU
TELIKOM PNG will lose its exclusive and monopoly rights enjoyed over four to five decades, as general carrier licence-holder under the new Information Communication Technology (ICT) Act 2009 passed by Parliament last month, according to Communication and Information Minister Patrick Tammur.
Mr Tammur said Telikom would not enjoy the rights it was used to because the new act removed the exclusive rights, paving the way for competition in the mobile telecommunication market.
He said this at a celebration commemorating the enactment of the National ICT Act 2009 in Kokopo on Wednesday, witnessed by the PNG Telikom chief executive officer Peter Loko, Independent Consumers Competition and Commission CEO Thomas Abe, Independent Public Business Corporation managing director Glen Blake among many other high profile executives of both private and Government entities.
“Telikom will lose its right over monopoly and the exclusive rights enjoyed over many years.
“As you are all fully aware, the new National ICT Act opens the PNG telecommunication market for competitions.
“And I am sure the industry in the entire ICT sector will exercise business choices to seek new licence rights which they were prevented to hold under the old regimes, provided that they follow requirement under the new law,” Mr Tammur said.
bemobile, which is partly owned by PNG Telikom, superfunds Nasfund and Nambawan Super and Black Dolphin, will compete with Digicel for their market share in the mobile technology market.
Mr Tammur said the law offered new challenges to Telikom but, at the same time, provide new business opportunities.
“New opportunities because there are certain assets they own that others competitors do not have at this stage,” Mr Tammur said.
“Equipment such as submarine cables, an extensive terrestrial back bone is right across the country, which only need the switches to be changed to upgrade services delivery.
“The new law to me is a great victory for Telikom despite the contrary views that it has lost because the luxury of a general career licence in a monopoly regime in telecommunications market has been taken away by the Government,” he said.
Mr Tammur commended Digicel, “your entry into the market two years ago has sparked up the race for market share under the telecommunication competition in the country”.