18 Dec 2007

Vodafone's court bid to stop entry of a new mobile service provider in Fiji delayed

11:05 am on 18 December 2007

Vodafone's court bid to stop the entry of a new mobile service provider into Fiji has been put back until ongoing talks over the deregulation of the telecommunications industry are completed.

Lawyers for Vodafone Fiji Limited, Lateef and Lateef told Fiji live that the court injunction sought by the company will now be called at the end of Jan.

The matter was supposed to be heard in court yesterday.

Vodafone is challenging applications for mobile licences from Pacific Connex and Jamaican company Digicel.

The Laisenia Qarase-led Government had approved "in principle" licences to these two players on April 25 last year and was waiting on the court to decide on the court injunction first.

The interim Government wants to open up the industry but talks of compensation for the premature removal of Vodafone parent company, Amalgamated Telecom Holdings' exclusive operating licence is yet to be sealed.

Meanwhile, the interim Minister for Communication Taito Waradi says six companies have been short-listed for licences to operate in Fiji.

He said all companies vying for a mobile phone license in Fiji will be required to win their bid through public auction.