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Consumers, businesses, ICT key to successful drive to PNG economy

By Simon Tsang

Papua New Guinea (PNG)’s 4,700km fibre-optic Coral Sea Submarine (CSS) cable project or 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) platform to propel a digital economy is scheduled for rollout end of this year. The National’s reporter DALE LUMA seized the opportunity to tap the experience and thoughts of a business consultant brought in by Huawei Technologies (PNG) Pvt Ltd on July 27. 

THE PNG Government’s K661 million PNG Kumul CSS fibre-optic cable domestic project is expected to roll out for commercial use by the first quarter of next year.
The CSS cable will run from Port Moresby, Alotau, Popondetta, Lae and Madang (digitally linking at least 15 provinces) and connecting to Australia and Solomon Islands.
This will significantly improve PNG’s internet connectivity and capacity, providing speedier access to new markets and businesses, and facilitating students to harness new learning opportunities and communities to reach out to other countries and people across the sea.
While the Government has committed a fortune to provide the basic physical platform required to transform PNG into a robust digital economy, it will remain just that if there is no positive reciprocal response from Papua New Guineans and businesses.
Business consultant Simon Tsang said: “PNG has spent so much on IT (Information Technology) infrastructure with the aim to transform the country into a robust and thriving digital economy.
“The key now is for both consumers and businesses to embrace the digital platform and drive the economy to greater heights.
“According to a 2015 survey on 50 countries, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a country is up 1% with a 20% growth in ICT (Information Communications Technology) investment.”
Tsang, with more than 30 years’ experience in sales, business development, channel management, product management, and educational services management in IT, telecom, and test equipment at Fortune 500 companies, should know what digital economy transformation is about.
Tsang had served as Hewlett-Packard’s global account director, Oracle business development global account director and director of educational services, and Global Knowledge Training general manager.
He said a country’s economic growth in the 21st Century digital era “is driven by investments in ICT and policies that stimulate digital progress and development activities”.
Even before the CSS project is fully operational, the Government on July 3 announced that internet rates for consumers using Telikom PNG and bmobile have been slashed by between 70 and 80%.
It is envisaged that the rates are likely to drop even lower when the 4G LTE platform is fully operational by the end of the year.
Huawei, the global giant telecommunications company appointed to help PNG DataCo (Kumul Telikom Holdings’ internet wholesale arm) to construct the CSS project, has stepped up training sessions for all players in IT-related businesses.
It had last year set up the Huawei ICT Academy in Lae’s Unitech, an establishment that was formalised in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with at the 2nd Digital Transformation Forum 2019 at The Stanley Hotel & Suites ballroom on May 16.
Trainings (in association with National Information and Communications Technology Authority) are now also being conducted at Huawei ICT Training Centre located in the corporate office in Paragon Haus, Hohola.

Tsang … 100 billion global connections between people and machines, and machines to machines by 2025
Tsang said ICT and digital economy would help and benefit both individuals (consumers) and organisations (including governments and businesses) by raising the socio-economic levels of a country.
“Different countries have their own industries that are investing in ICT and the digital economy. PNG can adopt ideas from them, improve the way businesses are conducted and even apply to its niche supply and production chains,” he added....Read part 2 titled :

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