How things can quickly change

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

Time sure flies. It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago when the then Chief Executive Officer of the Bluesky Pacific Group, Aoe’e Adolfo Montenegro, signed a contract to roll out a new submarine cable in the Pacific. 

In fact it was exactly a year ago when it happened. We said at the time it was an exciting development for the simple reason that if they are able to get it up and running, there is every possibility internet access for Samoa would be a lot, lot cheaper. 

We don’t need to tell you about the importance of the internet, it’s become a part of us that we simply cannot live without.

Getting back to Aoe’e and Bluesky, this time last year, it had signed with Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, to roll out a new submarine cable system, called Moana Cable, spanning more than 9700km across the Pacific. The system as we were told then was to link New Zealand and Hawai’i via Samoa and American Samoa, making it the first long-haul submarine cable in the Pacific region. 

The Moana Cable we were also told promised the “latest innovative 200 Gbit/s transmission technology, with ultimate capacity between Hawai’i and New Zealand of 20 Terabits-per-second (Tb/s).”

Obviously, Aoe’e was an excited man at the time.

“Moana Cable is an important part of Bluesky’s vision of connecting our Pacific communities around the world,” he said. “For the Pacific islands, it is important to tap into a digital highway between the larger markets to gain the benefit of economies of scale. 

“In this instance the digital highway is Moana Cable, connecting New Zealand and the U.S.A. Cost effective and reliable telecommunications bring significant benefits to education, commercial, medical and governmental activities and play a vital role in economic and social development.”

We couldn’t agree more. 

In this day and age, we need world-class telecommunications capabilities to be able to keep up with the rest of the world.

But there is a snag. 

Firstly Aoe’e is no longer the Chief Executive Officer of Bluesky. He was abruptly sacked earlier this year when it was revealed that Bluesky’s parent company, Amper SA, was selling its South Pacific business to Amalgamated Telecoms Holdings (A.T.H) of Fiji.

On the front page of the newspaper you are reading, it has been revealed that A.T.H has now made a deposit with Amper SA, honouring its intension to buy Bluesky.

According to Bluesky Samoa Country Manager, Alex Abraham, the sale process is progressing quite well.

 “There is a regulatory process to go through and at this process I understand it’s progressing,” he said. “There is no official update of when the transition will be done but everyone is looking forward to the change.”

In the meantime, Mr. Abraham said Bluesky Samoa remains positive the sale is a step in the right direction.

 “There will be a lot of synergies between the two businesses with the joining of the two companies therefore bringing benefits back to Samoa,” he said. He added that there is an opportunity for A.T.H, which runs Vodafone in Fiji, and Bluesky to share skills and knowledge. 

“If you keep yourself restricted you don’t see it,” Mr. Abraham said the opportunities. “But if you keep your eyes open, there are a lot of things that we can do together.”

Well Mr. Abraham has got a point. And good on him for being positive.

But just think of how time flies and how things can quickly turn.

Think of poor Aoe’e who made all those grand promises this time last year as the man in charge of Bluesky and how he has quickly disappeared from the scene and will probably be soon totally forgotten on these shores. 

A case of here today gone tomorrow alright. 

The question is, where does the sale leave the Moana Cable? Will they still go ahead with it or has the plan now been scrapped?

Let’s wait and see. 

In the meantime, have a fabulous week Samoa, God bless!

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