Third mobile operator enters PNG


    Vodafone has made its entry back into the Papua New Guinea market as of last night as Digitec-Vodafone to operate as the third mobile operator company.

    In the next two weeks the PNG market will see the new look Vodafone operate in 25 different locations of the country selling mobile phones and SIM cards to customers by 21 April, 2022.

    Minister for Information and Communication Technology Timothy Masiu announced this last night at the launching of the new look Digitec office in Port Moresby.

    With around 3 million current users in the existing networks, Masiu said there is room for another operator to create competition and bring prices down and this has now happened with Digitec-Vodafone’s entry.

    He said Digitec’s investment shows trust and confidence in PNG’s economy.

    “On behalf of the Marape government, I welcome your entry into the PNG market,” Masiu said.

    It is the Government’s policy objective to promote sustainable competition in the information and communications technology sector and to ensure affordability, accessibility, connectivity and we believe your entry into the market as the third mobile telecommunication operator will rejuvenate competition in the market.”

    He said having the headquarters in PNG shows the government their commitment towards investing in the country’s telecommunications sector.

    This comes at the backdrop of the super tax saga, where market dominance levy in the sector has created a stir with the enforcement of an additional K350 million (US$99 million) demanded by the state following reports of Digicel refusing to pay, amidst fears of the deal between Telstra Australia and the dominant Digicel PNG would fall through impacting any new entrants into the lucrative mobile communications market.

    Deputy Prime Minister Sam Basil said Digitec has a history in the Pacific for over two decades and is known as an ICT technology sector innovator.

    He said a strong ICT is vital for a strong economy and essential for healthy communities.

    “Having access to modern technology is no longer for the rich or the big cities as had been 20 years ago,” Basil said.

    “Now, right down to village level, our people need access to technology.

    “This is to conduct small businesses, stay in touch with loved ones and to access medical care.”

    Basil said ICT is a tough business to engage in, especially now that there are major changes in the sector with greater investment and competition.

    “As a businessman, and now as a political leader, I believe that competition is healthy,” he said.

    “It makes company operations more efficient and delivers savings to our people.

    “I encourage the workers and management at Digitec to continue to provide outstanding service to our people and the business community.”

    Digitec CEO Nirmal Singh said the country will in the next few weeks see some great products that it will bring to the market.