The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $25 million investment in Fiji’s Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) subsidiary, ATH International Venture Pte. Limited, (ATHIV), to finance a greenfield 4G mobile telecommunications network that will enhance mobile, broadband, and internet services in Papua New Guinea (PNG)
This is expected to open new opportunities for job creation and socioeconomic growth.
“This investment demonstrates our continued efforts to deliver essential and affordable infrastructure services to the people of PNG,” said Infrastructure Finance Division Director for Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the Pacific at ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department Jackie B. Surtani. “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.”
“We are pleased to welcome ADB as a cornerstone investor and key partner in our PNG venture,” said ATH Chief Executive Officer Ivan Fong. “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 in a statement labelled PNG as the Pacific region’s largest but least-developed telecommunications market, with only 11% of the population having internet access.
And ADB says 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.
The investment will also improve PNG’s business environment through private sector development and lift investor confidence in the telecommunications sector.
ATH, the project sponsor, is Fiji’s principal telecommunications holding company that pioneered 4G technology in Fiji. It 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.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.