Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fiji - End of monopoly

Digicel has mobile licence

DIGICEL Fiji Limited is the second licensed mobile operator in Fiji, in direct competition with Vodafone Fiji Limited.

The Caribbean-based Digicel was yesterday awarded a licence to operate in Fiji.

Three other companies that bid for a licence Pacific Spectrum Holdings Limited, Telecom Pacific Limited and Unwired were unsuccessful.

Interim Commerce Minister Tom Ricketts said there was only one successful bid because the other three bidders did not meet all the requirements.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Mr Ricketts said Digicel would be issued a licence once it paid its bid offer of $US10.25million ($F15.4m).

Digicel Fiji business development manager Thomas Underwood said they were "excited" at having won the bid.

He said a full statement would be released later.

Mr Ricketts said the outcome had left open a possible third public cellular mobile telephone system licence.

He said the entry of any third player in the cellular mobile market "will be left to the Telecommunication Authority of Fiji when they choose to do so".

He said the TAF would be formed in the upcoming weeks.

Digicel will have to wait until October before entering the commercial market as agreed in a deal to de-regulate the market.

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