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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Telecommunications Sector Opens Up : More joy for businesses

It has been a good week for businesses in Fiji with the telecommunications sector opened up this week.

The week has seen all stakeholders including Government and the three sole telecommunications providers agreeing on some formula for compensating providers for cancellation of the monopoly rights that they have over the industry.

During the week, we have also seen two companies given licences to operate Voice-Over-Internet Protocol services in Fiji which will see calls overseas falling substantially. One of these companies, Connect Fiji, says in an advertisement in the Fiji Times, Thursday, 22 November 2007, that international calls will fall by up to 60% when its Broadband customers use its new VoIP service which will be available from Monday, 26 November 2007. To access the service, Connect's Broadband customers can dial 021 + country code + overseas number, using their Telecom Fiji telephone line.

Another company has also been granted mobile telephony licence and will soon be introducing its services. The company, Inkk, from Australia is, however, using Vodafone Fiji's network and will pay a charge for use of the network.

Internet charges by one of the providers, Connect Fiji, has seen speeds and download limits doubled with rates remaining the same making them one of the best in this area.

Over recent days, we have heard of more new products and services being offered, either by the existing companies or by the newly licensed ones. That is basically the effect of competition, when service providers will need to have good and innovative product development areas which will continually test the boundaries of services in terms of quality, range of services, to be on the one-up at all times in relation to one's competitors.

Businesses will benefit more as telecommunication rates reduce, markets will open up, bringing in more business.

For this at least we thank the authorities for taking action on some of the things that we have been hearing for many years.

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