Vodafone has reportedly entered a joint venture with Papua New Guinea operator Digitec and will begin rolling out services under the red banner later this month (April).
The Post Courier reported the operators will sell mobile phones, plans and SIM cards under the Digitec-Vodafone brand in 25 locations, by April 21.
The minister for ICT Timothy Masiu welcomed the new player stating there are around three million mobile subscribers in the country, leaving ample space for competition to drive lower pricing for consumers.
Masiu said the government has a responsibility to push sustainable competition in the communications sector, and Digitec-Vodafone’s entry “rejuvenates” competition.
This follows recent a massive US$100 million tax levy on fellow operator Digicel which threatens to scupper plans by Australian operator Telstra to buy Digicel’s operations in the Pacific.
Reportedly, Digicel executives including its CEO, have left the country following the revelation of the massive tax bill, although the reason for the departures is still unknown.
Digitec is finally making good on its word to launch services in Papua New Guinea, it originally targeted the end of 2021 for its launch.