by Serah Aupong – EM TV, Port Moresby
Telikom PNG is looking forward to the future of operating as a single entity with B-Mobile.
Chairman of Telikom PNG, Mahesh Patel, says while Telikom has stability, it needs to “move with the times” in terms of its services.
Across the world, fixed lined services are becoming obsolete and don’t provide much “mobility” for the state owned enterprise.
The merger with B-Mobile will ensure Telikom has mobility and at the same time, will provide the financial backing that B-Mobile needs at this time.
He says with the merger, they are looking to put forward a compelling consumer oriented company.
Patel says while infrastructure improvement in Telikom is slow, plans are in place to “revamp” the whole network. This, he says, is a step towards ensuring more affordable rates for customers.
“When my board came on board, internet rates were at K200 per gigabyte in retail, now it is down to K49 per gigabyte.
That is a substantial drop but still not to my liking because with that money they should be allowed a lot more, but we cannot make any drastic changes yet because our infrastructure cannot handle it right now.”
He says the plan is to bring prices even further down so it is at an international level.
Speaking about Telikoms Acquisition of EM TV, he says it is a logical progression of a telecommunications company, and adds that media companies have a moral obligation to the people especially when it comes to providing a community service such as the airing of rugby league games, a national sport in PNG.
Patel says this can only happen with free to air television.
“We must still have free to air TV in the country. We have to consider parents in the village and their aspirations for their children. Rugby league is not only about sport, it is about a livelihood.”