The Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Dr Derek Sikua, has surprised parliament by announcing that a competitor to Solomon Telekom may start operations by the end of the month.
Our correspondent says this is contrary to the belief that any approved competitor would begin operations by March.
The Prime Minister said in ten days, the tender board will make its decision public.
Four companies are bidding to become the second mobile operator in the country.
Among the bidders is Digicel which in recent years has launched its services in several Pacific island countries.
On Monday, Solomon Telekom gave up its monopoly licence.