ICT Policy and Mobile Competition

Posted: August 6, 2007 in Information, Technology

Before I start this discussion I would like to say that I fully support the idea of “Mobile Competition” in Papua New Guinea. There is so much potential in mobile communications especially the potential of “wireless broadband” in which mobile carriers could tap into so that no longer should I go to an internet café and discussion issues on scape but I can stay at home at do that also or even while drinking a martini on an imaginary boat that I possess.

Heni Goro gave a very interesting analysis (No such thing as open competition) in the Sunday Chronicles and Heni could not have done a better job as I was still trying to rearrange my thoughts. Please be mindful that the Grand Chief is a very patriotic person and will not be influenced by those outside of Papua New Guinea.

That being said, all competition including the mobile competition needs to take place within a solid policy framework which the Government as the protector of people must set in place. The ICT policy was set-up to protect the natural resource of the people of Papua New Guineans. So what is the so-called natural resource? The natural resource was the scarce AIRSPACE that Papua New Guinea owns.

International laws allows for AIRSPACE boundaries for every country including Papua New Guinea. The same can be said for Papua New Guinea’s sea boundaries which are covered under the International laws. The AIRSPACE and sea boundaries are the only natural scarce resources left where millions of kina can be generated with a solid policy framework for Papua New Guinea. We must be very careful on how our AIRSPACE is being used. Very soon Papua New Guinea will start to think about having its own satellite and move away from depending on Optus.

According to Sunday Chronicles commentary by Heni Goro, “The Net-co, Serv-Co model is the only option available – towards a monopolized regime structured to encourage competition”. I believe that was the message that the Grand Chief was giving out but people where too emotional to rationalize this. Papua New Guinea must control is natural resources and as such Common Carrier is a scarce resource.” It is the nerve center of whole telecommunication operation and only the State can have control over it, not outsiders……”

So where does it leave Digicel, GreenCom, and ServCo who are now access seekers under ICT policy that was passed? They can still operate in Papua New Guinea but it must be under the amended ICT policy which ICCC was instructed to issue to them in the NEC Decision 188/2007. I believe it is in the best interest of Digicel to stop these lawsuits and accept the NEC Decision 188/2007 as the Government is hell bent on protecting its scarce natural resource.

  1. Emmanuel says:


    You’re on the right track there about having a policy in place for our airspace. What this is called is a ‘Spectrum Policy’ and this document will have to consider all the new transmission technologies that will and may be used in future.

    Because of a lack of policy Daltron, Datec and Data Nets went out to intriduce their wireless internet services and although they had some tension there about licencing I think some agreement has been made on it.

    But all in all yes a solid ‘Spectrum Policy’ needs to be in place. I guess we all agree that competition is needed and if the government is also looking at competition being allowed under their ICT policy then then need to say so. Simply saying that they are revoking licences does no good to anyone.

    Plan it and tell us what the plan is, if Digicel is going to be allowed back in under the new policy then explain that to us and how it will work. For example tell us that although the licence is revoked from PANGTEL they can re-apply under the new policy which will allow them and tell Digicel what steps need to be taken and do it.

    If that is ultimately what Grand Chief and/or Arthur wants to do, then explain things clearly and show us the steps that will need to be taken for competition to take place under this new policy.

    If not it all looks like ‘knee jerk reactions’ to a situation that can easily be solved if everyones just talked to each other nicely and worked towards the same goal which everyone in this country wants. A level telecommunications playing field where competition can be exercised to produce better services at competitive rates.

    For for a telecommunications industry we seem to have all the technicals to take PNG into the next era, but people still don’t know how to communicate with each other like adults.

  2. Rex says:


    I believe when the NEC Decision 188/2007 to ask PANGTEL to revoked the spectrum license for Digicel and GreenCom, the same NEC Decision 188/2007 directs PANGTEL to issues new Mobile Access license to Digicel, GreenCom and ServCo.

    I am not sure if PANGTEL was able to get the message across to Digicel and GreenCom on that matter. I believe it should have and this should not have caused any confusion.

    You are right……the lack of Policy makes it easy for Daltron, Datec and Data Nets to issue wireless without any consultations with the Government. There are also many wireless networks within Government departments and International Organizations at the moment and they call used come under the Governments ICT Policy.

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