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PNG prefers Huawei Communication Equipment, says Muthuvel

 Papua New Guinea STATE Enterprises Minister Sasindran Muthuvel says Huawei is currently the preferred communications equipment vendor for Papua New Guinea.

Muthuvel, while responding to questions raised on social media on the use of Huawei, said the major telecommunication companies in the country – bmobile, Telikom and Digicel – were using Huawei technology.

He said the two State-owned mobile networks (Telikom and bmobile) were both Huawei-equipped networks.

“Unless someone is willing to pay for all the equipment to be replaced by Nokia or Ericsson, we are limited in how we can proceed,” he said.

“And I remain open to consider all ways in which to achieve this, using our existing assets.”

Muthuvel, who has been tasked with reforming the country’s State-owned telecommunications companies, said safeguarding these assets and its workers was a priority of the reform.

“This is an enormous task, nine companies, some in good condition and some not so good (condition) given years of interference and poor decision making,” Muthuvel said.

He said the government owed Chinese Exim Bank K1.6 billion (US$470m), K706.92 million (US$200m) for NBN 1 and K954.34m (US$270m) for the Kumul undersea cable.

He said it was necessary to bring Telikom (4G) and bmobile (2G and 3G) under one operating system.

He said the cost of integrating the systems would be K17.67 million and this would be worthwhile because a single network would give better access to people and increase the customer base.

“The government borrowed and spent K1.6b (US$470m) on NBN 1 and the Kumul undersea cable and we have to commercialise these assets in order to generate revenue. Why would we not spend K17.67m to integrate these assets,” he said.

Muthuvel said all Exim-funded projects were carried out by Huawei.

He said the Kumul Telikom Holdings and Kumul Consolidated Holdings team would have to assess the proposals.

“It will be further assessed by Central Agency Coordination Committee (CACC) or Ministerial Executive Appointment Committee (MEAC) before going to Cabinet,” he said.

The National/ PNGeHow

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