17 Aug 2007

Digicel expands PNG phone market

5:39 pm on 17 August 2007

Papua New Guineans are continuing to sign up to the new mobile phone network, Digicel, at a rapid rate, putting the government in a difficult position.

The government owns PNG Telikom which until Digicel's arrival had the country's only mobile network, B Mobile.

Digicel's entry into the market has increased mobile phone usage by 69 per cent in less than a month and the Government had earlier this month issued a directive for Digicel's licence to be revoked.

Our correspondent in Port Moresby, Alex Rheeney, says hundreds of Papua New Guineans are buying Digicel phones because the prices are much cheaper than those offered by B Mobile.

"The government seems to be trying its best to protect B Mobile because it's a state owned company but thousands of Papua New Guineans have been actually calling the radios, they have been writing letters to the newspapers complaining, saying that this is what we wanted, we wanted cheaper prices, we wanted better service and this is what Digicel has done. So, why do you want to shut down the operations of Digicel?"

Alex Rheeney