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Digicel is main shareholder in Deep Blue Cable

Admin | 9:23:00 PM |
Digicel Group founder and Chairman Denis O'Brien holds the largest stake in Deep Blue Cable, the new entity that aims to string the region with underwater fibre-optic cables.

Deep Blue is not connected to Digicel, which has operations in the Caribbean, Central America and Pacific Islands.

"Deep Blue Cable and Digicel Group have a common shareholder, but Deep Blue Cable has its own management team and is separate and distinct from Digicel Group," said Deep Blue CEO Stephen Scott in response to Gleaner Business queries.

That confirmation comes after it formally announced plans to lay cables across the Caribbean earlier this month.

Digicel confirmed that O'Brien was the common shareholder and also the main owner.

Deep Blue aims to fill a gap in the high-stakes fibre cable market. The company foresees that roughly half of existing cable entities will have outdated or failing technology within a decade.

"The Deep Blue Cable will be ready for service in the first quarter of 2020," said Scott, adding that it takes around four to five years to deliver a sub-sea cable system.

The company plans to link a series of Caribbean countries and Miami, but has not disclosed the size of the investment it is making. However, given the rate of spend by Digicel on a past fibre-optic project, Deep Blue may be deploying more than US$100 million in the first phase of its project alone.

Deep Blue explained that currently, there are 26 cable systems operating in the region, and of those, 11 are consortium systems. In 2020, there will be only 10 cable systems in service with greater than six years of useful life remaining, and two of them are consortium systems.

The company stated that submarine cables are finite assets with an effective, efficient operating life of around 25 years. Further, many buyers such as carriers and service operators, for example, mobile telephony and cable TV, plan capacity and reach looking long into the future, and for economic reasons often agree to 10 or 15-year indefeasible rights of use or IRU purchase terms. Deep Blue added that once a submarine cable system is more than 10 years old, it can no longer sell a 15-year IRU, and similarly, when it is more than 15 years old it can no longer sell a 10-year IRU.

"Without a new cable system by 2025, assuming the market grows at only 50 per cent of the anticipated rate, then there remains 10 cable systems with only three having 10 years or more useful life," the company said, adding that the 10 only land in seven of the 30 Caribbean countries.

Deep Blue estimates the growth in regional telecom demand over the next 20 years at between 27 per cent and 48 per cent over the period, based on an independent study.

The entity said it will offer lower unit costs to clients as the implementation and installation costs are reduced.

"The operating costs are reduced given the opportunity to consolidate and outsource critical functions, for example, network operations centre services," Scott said.

Deep Blue Cable, formed in St Lucia, plans to develop and operate a fibre-optic cable network which will initially land in 12 countries, including Jamaica. The second phase of Deep Blue's development will grow the number of countries within its loop to 28 across the Caribbean and the Americas. Additionally, it plans to land the cable in select countries more than once, taking the number of landings to 40. For instance, it plans to land in Jamaica in five areas two in proximity to Kingston, two in proximity to Ocho Rios, and one landing in Montego Bay.

The main markets it wants to penetrate include Puerto Rico, which it calls a US$3-billion telecoms market opportunity, Dominican Republic at US$1.9 billion, Haiti at US$700 million, Trinidad at US$650 million, Jamaica at US$600 million, Cayman Islands at US$150 million, and Turks & Caicos at US$50 million.

The cable will initially span roughly 12,000km in the 12 markets, including the Cayman Islands, Curacao, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands and Florida in the United States. The technology deployed will include cable that has eight fibre pairs with an initial capacity of 6 terabytes per second, Tbps, and ultimate capacity of some 20Tbps per fibre pair.

Deep Blue will partner with TE SubCom to build the fibre-optic ring.

Large telecom provider CWC owns a sub-sea network that spans more than 48,000km with an additional 38,000km of terrestrial fibre, according to its website. Digicel Group holds over 3,000km of sub-sea cable in the region, which it either acquired or built, according to its website and reports


Drone Technology to bolster service delivery in Papua New Guinea

Admin | 1:58:00 PM |
As Papua New Guinea progresses, in the cyber age technology is presenting more and more opportunities to improve service delivery into the rural areas.

At the induction of Members yesterday, Emmanual Narakobi, a young PNG entrepreneur and founder of Masalai Communications, proposed the use of drone technology to refine and economise service delivery mechanisms throughout the country.
“The basic idea is that you have a device that can fly at a low cost over good distances. So it can be used to transporting small things like medical supplies, test results or even using video technology for surveillance,” said Mr Narakobi.

Mr Narakobi acknowledged that the roads were a major problem in the country but encouraged Members of Parliament to consider other options instead of waiting on the government.
“Infrastructure has always been a big problem that we all need and hope that the government will solve for us, but in between that, there are always alternatives that we can take to tackle those problems,” said Mr Narakobi.

“Instead of fueling up an aero plane, you can do it quite cheaply with drones. The applications are quite diverse, especially for Papua New Guinea, with the type of geography that we have and the terrain, we can achieve a lot of things immediately with drones.

There are a lot of social and development applications of the technology apart from video,” he said
Drone technology, though relatively new to PNG; has been available to the rest of the world since the early 2000s. Drones are already being used across the globe in a variety of different applications, such as delivery of packages and medical supplies, mapping and surveillance.
The application of drone technology would be especially pertinent in aiding in the delivery of learning materials to schools in remote areas of PNG, where transportations costs alone are currently eating up over half of their annual school budgets.

“Opportunities come when we have challenges and thankfully PNG has a lot of challenges, which means that we also have a lot of opportunities.
It’s really just about looking at the problems you’re trying to solve and asking the right questions,” Mr Narakobi said. Post Courier


Admin | 7:00:00 PM | |
INTERNET has become a place to do many things such as going shopping, socialising with friends, transmitting information and playing games, to name just a few.

However, it is important for users to be aware that the Internet is also giving new life to a lot of scams.

Fraudsters have been around for years, but the internet has given them a new way to steal from people through playing fraudulent tactics.

It has been noted that every year millions of people use Western Union Money Transfer service to send money to support family members back home, rescue travelers in emergencies or keep their businesses operating smoothly.

However, most people in PNG involved in shopping online have been victims of online scams.

Two of the most common scams that can occur when buying or selling items online are the overpayment scam and the online purchase scam.

In the overpayment scam, the criminal sends you a check as payment for a service or product.

The check is typically for more than the purchase price, and the thief asks you to cash the check, keep the portion owed to you and perhaps a little extra for your trouble, and send the rest of the money to him right away.

Waiting to send the cash might help you catch the scam, but if you send the money right away, you’ll find the check ultimately bounces, leaving you responsible to the bank for the full amount, plus any penalties. Therefore, confirm the receipt of your check before sending money away!

In the online purchase scam, a seemingly legitimate seller asks you to wire money for a product, auction item or service.

Once he or she receives the money, you’ll never get your purchased item or service.

You can avoid becoming a victim of a scam when buying or selling online.
Western Union offers few tips:

Only send money to people you know and trust. Never send money to someone you met over the Internet or to someone you’ve never actually met and dealt with in person unless the transfer method is proved against frauds.
If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is
Never send funds from a check in your account until that check officially clears, which can take weeks. Likewise, never send funds from a money order until it clears.
Don’t send a money transfer to pay for online purchases. Reputable, honest online merchants will accept your credit card and will never pressure you to send funds immediately in order to secure a deal.
Other scams are less high tech but can be just as effective. For example, you may receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a relative or friend.

The caller claims to need money immediately because of an emergency, and convinces you to send the funds. This scam is often used against seniors by thieves posing as their grandchildren.

If approached through e-mail or phone by a friend, family member or acquaintance asking for money for an emergency situation, verify the person’s identity and that an emergency really exists before you send any funds. Source: Marketmeri.com 

Bmobile uses Red-X promotion to register SIM cards

Admin | 6:46:00 PM |
It is compulsory for all mobile network users to get their subscriber identity module (SIM) cards registered with their network companies, a bmobile-Vodafone representative says.
Port Moresby sales promotion officer Andrew Julius when doing SIM registration at The National office yesterday with his team said bmobile-Vodafone was also complying with the SIM Card Registration Regulation 2016 requirements, just like other mobile network companies, to get all its users registered.
“As much as possible, we would like to register all our users before the end of this year as according to the regulation all unregistered SIMs will be deactivated after January 2018,” he said.
Julius said they were going around in teams of four or five in the city (Port Moresby) setting up stalls and doing registrations in business houses.
“We have visited Nasfund and registered their staff, BSP last week we had a massive SIM card registration for both their staff and customers where Digicel and Telikom were also present,” he said.
“They also had road teams travelling out to remote centres and villages in the city to make sure everyone was registered.”
Julius said the SIM card registration was a nationwide process that was currently happening in other centres as well.
“Apart from SIM registration, we are also doing our Red-X promotion where, if people have a damaged phone whether its screen is cracked or if there is any other damage can bring the phone to us and trade it for K29 and get a new Red-X  phone,” he said
Julius said the promotion was open to any mobile network phones.

The National

What are Papua New Guineans looking at on the Internet?

Admin | 2:19:00 AM |
Which are Papua New Guinea’s favourite websites? While it’s no surprise that Google and Facebook dominate, Business Advantage PNG‘s analysis of web rankings data suggests local content is holding its own.

Search engine giant Google owns the three websites most visited by Papua New Guinea web users: google.com, google.com.pg and youtube.com. Two other Google services feature in the top 25 sites visited in PNG, according to current data from web ranking service, Alexa.

Given this, it’s not surprising to learn that Google is in the process of installing its own caching engine in Port Moresby, with the aim of speeding up its services for PNG users.
Next, in fourth place, comes Facebook, the world’s largest social network—a service as many as 370,000 Papua New Guineans now access, thanks in part to data-free deals from their mobile carrier.
(And PNG’s most popular Facebook page? That of Alotau-born, US-based hip hop artist Jay Lieasi, according to Social Bakers.)
Other major global players to appear in PNG’s top 10 are: Yahoo, Wikipedia and LinkedIn.

PNG’s top website

It’s a surprise, perhaps, to see one PNG website in the top 5. It’s not BSP, the Post-Courier, PNG Loop or even the PNG Electoral Commission (which is understandably experiencing a surge of traffic at present), although all these appear in PNG’s overall top 20.
‘Business network LinkedIn features in PNG’s top 10.’
Rather, Alexa says PNG’s top local website is that of Divine Word University. Fellow tertiary institution Unitech is close behind at No.10. One wonders how many countries in the world have places of learning as their most popular local websites. It’s quite encouraging.
These two aren’t the only way web traffic in PNG differs from Alexa’s global rankings. Business network LinkedIn features in PNG’s top 10, but globally ranks only number 25. By way of contrast, globally Twitter is the 12th most popular website, but only just makes it into PNG’s top 50.

Local competition

There are also some interesting local match-ups, according to Alexa.
Its data suggests The Post-Courier website (No.15) is slightly more popular than that of The National (No.24); employment website pngworkforce.com is slightly more popular than pngjobseek.com; ANZ’s website is more popular than Westpac’s (although both fall well behind BSP), while Nasfund’s website is currently busier than Nambawan Super’s.
‘There is the darker side of the internet.’
There are some clear category winners, too. Most popular source of overseas news? The BBC. Most popular real estate website? Hausples.com.pg. Most popular sporting website? Nrl.com, of course!
And then there is the darker side of the internet. It’s no surprise to see illegal file sharing, gambling and porn are popular in PNG, but the prevalence of the myway.com virus, which is controlling a lot of web traffic in PNG, is quite alarming. If you’re struggling with it on your PC, you’re clearly not alone.


Finally, it’s worth pointing out that web rankings like Alexa’s—which base their results on web traffic over the past three months—are not a predictor of future popularity but rather of past success.
Sites will rise and fall in the rankings depending on all sorts of factors—what services are deployed on a site, the emergence of competition, improvement in web speeds (PNG’s relatively slow download speeds encourage the use of a site like Savefrom.net, for example), seasonal factors, and even changes to search engine algorithms.
So, feel good if your site is up in the rankings, but don’t feel too good. The job of keeping it up there has already begun.
Top 20 PNG-related websites (source: Alexa web rankings, July 2017)

  1. Divine Word University (education)
  2. Loop PNG (media)
  3. Lae University of Technology (education)
  4. Bank South Pacific (financial services)
  5. The Post-Courier (media)
  6. The PNG Electoral Commission (government)
  7. The National (media)
  8. PNG Facts (media)
  9. Telikom PNG (telecommunications)
  10. PNG Blogs (politics/opinion)
  11. PNG Workforce (recruitment)
  12. ANZ Bank (financial services)
  13. Air Niugini (transport and tourism)
  14. EMTV (media)
  15. PNG Job Seek (recruitment)
  16. Nasfund Savings and Loan Society (financial services)
  17. Investment Promotion Authority (government)
  18. Department of Finance (government)
  19. Digicel (telecommunications)
  20. Westpac (financial services)

Source: PNG Business Advantage

PNG's NFA moves to store data Electronically

Admin | 2:06:00 PM |
With the world moving to embrace electronic data, the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) is also doing the same.
The NFA staged a one-day workshop in Lae yesterday to troubleshoot some of the key problems encountered when working with data electronically.
The Post-Courier attended the workshop and found out that through NFA’s observer program, training for raw data processing and storage became a must for the organisation.
A facilitator said the workshop seeks to explore avenues to safeguard information and other usable data for storage and usage when needed.
He added that connectivity and data synchronisation were also among issues that were put on the table for deliberation.
“We have also identified the use of a paperless data system but we are also aware that there are problems that are encountered when employing such technology,” the facilitator said.
He said information sharing was becoming very important because it saved time and was less costly.
“If you have a query, always ask because there is someone there that would have an answer,” the facilitator told participants.
The facilitator said all data are entered through a data form.
“It is important that you organise your data and have it backed up fully so that when something goes wrong with storage, you can access your back up files easily and have them retrieved and used,” he said.
He said backing up data was part of organisational skills and urged the participants to be honest in their data collection, input, storage, and output and even in the reporting process.
“We are officers that are reporting on issues that will improve and protect the livelihood of people so you must ensure that you have information or data that is factual, appropriate and correct so that when you present your data, you report with confidence and integrity,” he said. Post Courier