Digicel has confirmed that limited international calling capabilities have been restored in Tonga, and that it is working on improving capacity.
The operator group’s regional CEO Shally Jannif stated that international calls were now possible on the islands of Tongapatu and ‘Eua via a satellite link which uses 2G networks. Currently only 400 calls can be made at any one time, but Jannif confirmed that Digicel is receiving additional amplifiers and satellite modems to boost output power and capacity.
TeleGeography reported that the islands of Ha’apai and Vava’u will be connected in the coming days by additional satellite antennas, although Jannif noted that damage to Tonga’s international submarine cable must be repaired before normal services can resume, saying: “We expect to put up all basic services in the next few days and then we hope to install more equipment to bring GPRS and 3G basic data services up so bank ATMs, EFTPOS and other services can be up in Tonga.”
On Saturday 15th January, Tonga was hit by devastating tsunamis created by several eruptions of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano, which is situated 65km north of Tonga’s main island Tongatapu.