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Digicel announces 30 winners of 2.5GB Free Data Promotion

Digicel has announced 30 winners of its Free Data for a Year promotion across the country.

The 30 winners, from various parts of the country including Port Moresby, Mt Hagen, Buka, Popondetta, Wewak, Kavieng, Daru, Alotau, Goroka, Kokopo and Chimbu, Kimbe, entered Digicel’s exciting *777# promotion since its launch on  September 21.

One lucky winner has been drawn every day since September 21 to receive 2.5GB of free data monthly for a year.

One of those lucky winners was Sam Joseph from Port Moresby.

Sam works as an electrician with Digi Tech PNG and was excited to be a recipient of the 2.5GB data.

“Thank you Digicel for the free 2.5GB data installation that I received. This is the first time I have received a huge amount of data in my phone and I am a very happy man. A year of free data is truly amazing as I get to surf the internet, use Facebook and communicate with my family and friends for free. This is a great promotion and I am excited to have been selected as a lucky winner,” said Sam.

Each month, the free 2.5GB of data will be available for selected winning customers to use over a 30-day period.

Digicel’s Retail Director, Lorna McPherson said it was great to see some of Digicel’s loyal customers rewarded for buying a plan.

“We encourage our customers to subscribe to our plans as it is more economical and allows them to select a plan that is most suited to their phone use and budget,” she said.

“These winners will love surfing the internet for free thanks to Digicel and we are very happy to thank them with such a great prize," she added.

The *777# Free Data promotion will end on October 31.

PNG National Research Institute lauches new website

THE PNG National Research institute yesterday launched its new website to replace the old one.

Senior Deputy Director Dr David Ayres when giving an overview of the new website stated that private sectors are the main players in building the country’s economy however they are still facing challenges through internet rates.

Mr Ayres said based on experiences faced by the institute they have decided to invest heavily in internet which is cost saving as previously all reports are printed out and despite selling reports, NRI has never recovered any costs of printing those reports.

"We are confident that the situation will continue to improve as from the lessons learnt from our past experiences other businesses can save substantial amount of money if they too invest in technology.

"Our motivation is to be the driver of the process and with the new website this is sort of our way of demonstrating confidence in the sector," he said.

Mr Ayres added that the latest report in internet rates was born out of their very own experiences but it was an experience they knew should be shared elsewhere.

He said this report is very much a first step in establishing a dialogue around this issue adding that it’s also inevitable that people would disagree with the findings of the report.

"That is probably a good thing because by disagreeing with the findings of the report they have motivation to begin to engage with us.

"What we would hope is that this report is the starting point of process for stakeholder engagement which NRI intends to facilitate as much as we can."

"The process of stake holder engagement is where we can begin to unravel some of these particular issues," he said.

Mr Ayres stated that currently there are 150 reports available on the website and copies of reports that were released since 1970 will be available soon on the website for the people to see and download for free adding that there is a section for blogs and people are welcomed to comment their views in that page.

"This is part of the evolution for PNG’s Knowledge hub and the next evolution is we’ll be putting up price trackers for internet rates so that people can make more informed consumer decisions," he said.

DataCo to address internet rate issues in Papua New Guinea

PNG DataCo Limited has welcomed the launching of the independent National Research Institute report on high internet rates in the country. Managing director, Paul Komboi, said DataCo believes that the cost of internet in PNG is very high and impacts on the growth of the business, delivery of essential government services and general communications. Mr Komboi said the company as a participant in the study accepts the findings as contained in the report adding that they do believe that the restructure of the government’s ICT businesses in Telikom PNG (including its subsidiaries), Bmobile and DataCo into the wholesale and retail segments of the market is a first step to addressing the issue. “DataCo now building the national transmission network is another step to addressing this by investing in a better and modern transmission infrastructure around the country. “With all this happening, we would be on track to address the high wholesale price of internet as we would be able to eliminate duplication of transmission networks that exist today. This would result in stimulating and driving up usage of critical wholesale infrastructure thereby reducing unit costs and this reductions or savings can then be passed down to the retail internet users,” he said. He said that they do believe some of the issues identified are now been addressed through current reforms although implementation is slow in some critical areas. He said DataCo is open to discussions with relevant stakeholders to ensure speedy implementation of this reform as well as collaborative efforts to address other regulatory and policy gaps identified in the report.

 He said with regards to NICTA’s establishment of a neutral internet exchange point (IXP) the regulator (NICTA) will need high speed and reliable transmission links between the IXP and the big players within PNG.

“That is where DataCo’s role comes in to provide that transportation layer link using fibre technology that can be able to meet the country’s bandwidth demand and also provide high speed and reliability.

 Only when we have abundance capacity in the transport layer we can be able to get more people to use and hence reducing the unit cost per person of the installation and operation of the fibre cable network system,” he said.

NICTA to help reduce internet price in PNG

REGULATOR, the National Information and Communication Technology Authority is trying its best to help reduce the price of Internet in PNG, says board chairman Ansgar Palauva.

Mr Palauva said NICTA had been doing all that it could to help reduce the cost of Internet in PNG by negotiating with both the operators of wholesale and retail service providers in PNG.

He said the NICTA board has been trying its best to bring down the cost of internet services by putting together policies set up by the government for operators to follow.

"The internet prices are slowly coming down and slowly through the operators we hope that they abide by the NICTA Act so that we can get the price down to a level that is affordable to everyone in PNG," he said.

Board director and independent expert Dr Bob Horton said that NICTA supported National Research Institute initiatives on internet services and in doing so they had established a Neutral Internet Exchange Point (IXP) as a way to contribute positively to the industry. He said Australia had done taken similar measures 15 years ago.

Saying that ICT was a major platform for the future Mr Horton said that if everyone had access to affordable internet prices that simply reflected prosperity on the streets which meant that everything would fall into play.

"We can’t do everything, the government can’t do everything, the industry can’t do everything but when we’re all in the same hemisphere then we can solve the issues," he said. Post COurier

Internet price affects PNG's economy

DELOITTE manager Todd Mclnnis said this yesterday in Port Moresby when presenting the National Research Institute’s latest report on why internet rates are high in Papua New Guinea.

The report identified key issues that have caused high prices of internet rates which includes infrastructure, wholesale, regulation, retail and competition and PNG specific issues.

McInnis said that despite considerable improvements in PNG’s technological architecture including competitions, PNG’s internet infrastructure appears to be reaching its limits and remains among the lowest in the world.

According to a 2013 report by the International Telecommunication Union PNG is ranked 163 out of 169 countries in terms of internet infrastructure.

The findings however revealed that PNG had an entry level fixed broadband package estimated to cost a high 266 per cent of gross national income per capita.

"Since that time internet prices have fallen markedly," McInnis said.

"In 2014 NICTA estimated that the price of a 1GB (Gigabyte) package ranges from around 20-80 per cent of GNI per capita while current estimates suggest a 1GB package can be obtained for 10 per cent per capita.

These dramatic price reductions are likely to be driven by a number of factors, including reductions in the wholesale price which has fallen by 70 per cent over that time and increased competition in the retail market," he said.

McInnis revealed that maintenance and capital costs for internet infrastructure in PNG are considerably higher than in other countries, though by how much, still remains unclear.

"The internet market is a system, so we have looked at the issues and provided a summary. You can’t look at one issue without looking at the others. They’re all interlinked and work together."

"It’s very costly to do business in PNG due to a number of reasons and the high infrastructure maintenance costs which are a direct impact to higher prices," he said.

McInnis added that another issue is reliability or the lack of it which does not have a direct impact to prices but all contribute to a higher cost environment which obviously leads to higher prices.

Post Courier

Bemobile-Vodafone calls become cheaper with a launch of new product

Bmobile has launched a new product today aimed at serving the grassroots populations of this country.

Chief Marketing Officer of the company, Parag Panjwani, said in a press conference today that Bemobile-Vodafone’s focus on its customers goes all the way down to the grassroots people.
“We travel extensively around the country, meeting with people, standing at our retail outlets asking questions to our customers and actually getting their insights of what they want”.
“That is our strategy in terms of market development”.

He said with consultations from a wider audience from around the country, one particular trend of spending from their customers was identified.

“Many of our customers at grassroots level can’t afford our K7 one week unlimited calls pass”.
“Customers tend to prefer small quantities of big products, mainly to save cost”.
“This is why we introduced the K2 Day Pass”, he said.
“For only K2 you can subscribe to have 24 hours of free bmobile to bmobile calls with 5 minutes and 5 free sms to other networks”. PNGFM