The Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupai, is impressed with the swift response by telecommunication service providers such as Digicel and BlueSky.
He is especially pleased that the services to even the most remote and isolated area in Upolu, Fagaloa Bay, has been restored since the devastation of Cyclone Gita.
Afamasaga joined the Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’itele Niko Lee Hang, as one of the four Cabinet teams dispatched to inspect the worse hit areas.
The Minister found first hand that BlueSky’s reception was 100 per cent in Fagaloa.
Digicel’s reception was interrupted in some areas of Fagaloa and not fully restored due to mechanical fault awaiting replacements being flown in from overseas.
But overall, Afamasaga noted that latest reports show that both service providers have restored communication providing over 70per cent services to their respective customers in both Upolu and Savai’i.
In fact, mobile services did not black out during and after the Cyclone.
Then there is the different types of services available which also play a deciding factor on the mobile phones’ receptions, says the Minister.
For instance, 2G mobile phones provide limited connection while compared to 3G, internet is available by slow and coverage at times is limited.
However. Afamasaga notes that the overall best and available is the 4G which provides efficient and fast connectivity in terms of internet and mobile combined.
“There is still a lot to be done but for the two service providers to bounce back speaks volumes,” said Afamasaga.
“You don’t have to be rocket scientists to remind us that compared to some ten years ago; our IT industry has accelerated rapidly which has vastly improved the country’s communication capacity locally and internationally.”
And with the Tui-Samoa Cable commission complemented by the government’s vision for Samoa to be Pacific IT Hub in 2020, Afamasaga is confident that the country will reap the fruits of the government’s hard labour through the multi-million tala investment in the IT sector.