The National, Thursday July 25th, 2013
By MALUM NALU
WHEN the National Weather Service’s state-of-the-art satellite communication system was launched at 7-Mile in Port Moresby last Friday, a milestone in PNG’s telecommunications history was made.
It was the beginning of a dream for leading PNG satellite and telecommunications engineer Mathew Wari, his wife Maureen and their four young daughters to provide cheaper, faster and better information and telecommunications services throughout the country.
Wari, 46, from Viriolo village in Central, has been living and working in the United States since 1999. He went there and worked for four years with Intelsat, a Washington DC-based satellite company.
“In May 1999, I went to Washington DC to work with Intelsat, a satellite company, as a senior frequency engineer,” he said
“While in the US, I learned how to file orbital slots for satellites. I was the first Papua New Guinean to do satellite filing.”
In 2003, he returned to PNG with his family and worked with Pangtel until 2009. In 2010, he returned to the US where he now runs his own telecommunications consulting company in Maryland, Washington.
Last year, when he and his family were in PNG for a vacation, they saw for themselves just how bad and expensive the telecommunications system was in his village and on his wife’s Misima Island in Milne Bay.
They made it their mission to do something for the people of this country.
Thus was born the family company Wanples Wireless which Wari plans to build with his extensive telecommunications and satellite experience, and contacts in the US.
“Last October, I applied for a telecommunications licence with NICTA,” he said.
“In November last year, my application was approved, and I was given a commercial license to build, install, and be an internet service provider.
“The next licence I’m applying for us an international gateway licence.That gives me full power to compete with all the big ISPs and build our own hub in PNG.”
His message to Papua New Guineans is: “Don’t think that you can’t do it and ask God to help you do it.”
He urged other qualified Papua New Guineans living abroad to come back and impart their skills and knowledge at home.
Wari calls himself a Lae-bred boy, who completed Grade 10 at Lae Provincial High School in 1982, Grade 12 at Passam National High School in 1984, and then came to the Telikom Training College in Lae where he trained as a telecommunications specialist.
In 1989, he went to the University of Technology in Lae to train as a telecommunications engineer, graduating in 1993, and worked with Telikom until 1999 when he was given the opportunity to live and work in the US and has never looked back since.
For now, the sky is the limit, with his big dreams of linking up all of PNG with the rest of the world.