ADB Approves K87 Million For Telecom Investment In PNG
A Greenfield 4G mobile telecommunications network in the country has been financed with K87 million from the Asian Development Bank.
The financing came from ADB’s investment in Fiji’s Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) subsidiary, ATH International Venture Pte Limited, (ATHIV).
It is believed that this new telecommunication network will enhance mobile, broadband, and internet services in the country opening new opportunities for job creation and socioeconomic growth.
Infrastructure Finance Division Director for Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the Pacific at ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department Jackie Surtani said ADB’s investment demonstrates its continued efforts to deliver essential and affordable infrastructure services to PNG.
Mr Surtani said improved mobile services in PNG will increase domestic and regional connectivity and serve as a powerful access tool for other sectors of the economy such as telemedicine, education and banking.
Surtani said PNG as the largest in the Pacific region has the least developed telecommunications market with only 11 per cent of the population having internet access.
He said boosting digital connectivity in low-income communities, especially in rural and remote villages, will spur economic opportunities and provide better access to digital services in finance, public health and education.
Mr Surtani added that the investment will also improve PNG’s business environment through private sector development and lift investor confidence in the telecommunications sector.
“Improved mobile services in PNG will increase domestic and regional connectivity and serve as a powerful access tool for other sectors of the economy such as telemedicine, education, and banking,” he said.
Project sponsor ATH is Fiji’s principal telecommunications holding company that pioneered 4G technology in Fiji.
ATH has extensive experience in the Pacific telecoms market, with operations in Kiribati, Vanuatu, Samoa, American Samoa, Cook Islands, and PNG.
Vodafone Fiji Pte Limited, ATH’s largest subsidiary, will manage the project rollout and subsequent operations in PNG.
ATH chief executive officer Ivan Fong said, “We are pleased to welcome ADB as a cornerstone investor and key partner in our PNG venture.
The investment from ADB is a great endorsement for the project and its sponsors, and we look forward to working with ADB to deliver superior technology and services to our customers in PNG, especially those living in remote and low-income parts of the country.”
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.
Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.