Three months into the unveiling of the Tui Samoa Cable, the question of when Samoans will experience high speed internet have still not been answered.
At a conference by the Samoa Submarine Cable Company, the incoming chairman, Pauli Prince Suhren fielded questions from the press about a general opinion by the public that internet speed has not improved since the Cable became ready for service in February.
The Chairman pointed out that their company only deals with selling wholesale internet but the speed needs to be addressed by the I.S.P. providers
“I can’t vouch for the service providers but if anyone is experiencing slow internet speed, they should contact their internet service provider whoever that may be,” Pauli said.
However, he suggested that perhaps the Internet Service Providers are still in the process of internal upgrades that may still take some time,
“The aim of bringing you Tui Samoa (after the investment of the government and the shareholders of the Samoa Submarine Cable Company (S.S.C.C) have put into this cable) is to bring high speed internet into the country.
“The fact is we connected on the 9th of February and I.S.P. service Digicel and Bluesky gradually connected
“I think because they also need to upgrade their own metrics in the country. For example; because the previous hardware or networks operated by the I.S.P. need to be upgraded to meet the standard of High speed Tui-Samoa so that High speed Tui-Samoa meets with the high speed I.S.P. network.
“So I understand that the I.S.P networks are also in the stages of investing a lot of funds to upgrade their networks to meet the high speed standards that is being brought in by Tui -Samoa.”
So far, Digicel is the only I.S.P. that is fully signed up to the cable since February 20th, the Samoa Observer contacted Digicel C.E.O Farid Mohammed to comment on whether they will address the apparent lack of high speed seen so far and when can the public expect a noticeable improvement on the internet speed.
“In response to your email, yes - Digicel has invested a great deal in upgrading our data network and are the first company to sign up and switched on the Tui Samoa cable (Refer the press release from Samoa Observer on the 21st February 2018).
“This reinforces our position as the smart choice for data users in Samoa, and we continue our commitment to listen to and provide fantastic services to our valuable customers throughout Samoa.
“Our customers told us that they wanted more data and better value so we launched the exciting Supa Seki Data bundles that delivers on these needs (Refer the press release from Samoa Observer on the 14th March 2018)
“Our Supa Seki offers provides significant value and breaks all price barriers that were previously a concern for customers. The new Supa Seki data plans are available via dialing *123# or the My Digicel app for as low as $3 for 500MB to $50 for 9GB valid for 30 days.”
Earlier in April Bluesky’s country manager Alex Abraham announced that Bluesky will be fully connected by August 4th 2018 and added that the pricing for their data plans will remain the same but with more added value.
Mr. Abraham emphasized that Bluesky is focused on adding value by enhancing the customer experience rather than looking to drive down prices.
“With the pricing, I just want to share with the customers that the pricing is going to be relatively the same, but you’re going to get a lot more for it,” he said.
“I think that it’s already coming into fruition, stay posted and look on our Facebook and the media to see what is coming up. We are very close.
“In terms of pricing, we have to keep it very close together because there’s a certain level of costing to run the business, so I think the easiest way for us to give the benefit or the value is by giving more value.”