Discussions between Telikom PNG, Vodafone, and Digicel on the subject of sharing mobile towers are still ongoing.

The chairman of Vodafone PNG, Kalpana Lal, said the company had initiated talks about the possibility of leasing towers and sharing with Telikom/BeMobile and Digicel, but no agreement had been reached. Consequently, Vodafone had built its own towers.

“However, we remain open to further discussion if the incumbents in the market are amenable to tower sharing arrangements,” Lal said.

Ms Lal stated that Vodafone was aware they were the third entrant to Papua New Guinea’s telecommunications market, but the telcos and users would all benefit from an arrangement. She said the company believes the PNG market is big enough to accommodate three competitors. Lal added that she remains committed to shaking up the industry for the benefit of all stakeholders.

She said, “We operate in many other competitive markets across the Pacific and respect and embrace competition. While we fiercely compete on many fronts, we are also ready and open to collaborating with other industry players for the benefit of customers at large and the industry; especially on matters such as infrastructure sharing, number portability, building resiliency and achieving the goal of bridging the digital divide.”

Vodaphone is one of the largest mobile telecommunications companies in the world, operating in Oceania, Asia, Africa, and Europe. It is also one of the most valuable brands internationally.

Lal explained that the company’s global renown means clients in Papua New Guinea would benefit. The company would provide access to a vast business knowledge base, industry best practices, economies of scale, and the operational experience of an international brand.

“This means the PNG people will have access to the latest network technology, more affordable access to connectivity, the latest in smartphones and devices and much more value,” she said.

“Being part of this global ecosystem means strategic investment, latest technology, high service orientation and years of experience.

“We will work tirelessly to bring mobile connectivity to each person in PNG, ensuring the mobile devices and the cost of the internet is affordable,” Ms Lal said.

Caption: Vodafone PNG officially launched its state-of-the-art network at a corporate launch event held at APEC Haus, with retail outlets starting operations.