Papua New Guinea is set to gain a greenfield 4G mobile network, as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $25 million investment into a project for its construction in the Pacific country.
In a statement, the bank said the investment will “enhance mobile, broadband, and internet services in Papua New Guinea” and in turn, open “new opportunities for job creation and socioeconomic growth”.
The $25 million will be given to ATH International Venture (ATHIV), a subsidiary of Fiji-based Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH).
Jackie B. Surtani, infrastructure finance division director for Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the Pacific, at the ADB's private sector operations department, tipped enhanced mobile connectivity and services to: “serve as a powerful access tool for other sectors of the economy such as telemedicine, education, and banking.”
Ivan Fong, ATH chief executive officer, added construction of the 4G network will “deliver superior technology and services for customers in Papua New Guinea, especially those living in remote and low-income parts of the country.”
ADB noted Papua New Guinea is the Pacific region’s largest but least-developed telecommunications market with only 11% of its 8.7 million population, connected to the internet.
ATH is the project sponsor, it has substantial experience in the Pacific telecoms market with operations in: Kiribati, Vanuatu, Samoa, American Samoa, Cook Islands, and Papua New Guinea. Vodafone Fiji, ATH’s largest subsidiary, will manage the project rollout and subsequent operations in the country.
Elsewhere in the region, the ADB loaned money for the Manatua One Polynesia submarine cable system to connect remote areas in the Cook Islands.