P.M. launches Vodafone Samoa
Global telecommunications giant, Vodafone Samoa, has officially arrived.
A few weeks after its billboards and advertisements hit the local the market, a launch ceremony on Saturday presided over by Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, announced the company's official debut in Samoa.
The launch was held at the telecommunications provider’s main headquarters but in keeping with state of emergency orders no more than five people were assembled.
Tuilaepa said that the arrival of Vodafone Samoa is a vote of confidence by one of the world’s largest mobile operators in the Samoan economy.
“And this arrival was [paved for by…] our Government’s strategy and commitment to grow [Information and Communications Technology (I.C.T.)] in Samoa,” he said.
In March 2011, the Government concluded its first ever major asset sale, said the Prime Minister, a process that ultimately concluded in Vodafone’s market entry.
“With 75 per cent of Samoa-Tel being acquired by the Bluesky Group and the remaining 25 per cent transferred to U.T.O.S. whereby everyday Samoans could invest in unit shares and enjoy annual dividends,” he said.
“Bluesky, now Vodafone, has invested over $40 million already to make and operate the fastest and largest 4G mobile service in Samoa.
“And with over 90 towers connecting at over 30 gigabits per second [...] into the Tui Samoa undersea fibre optic cable, making Vodafone Samoa’s mobile services of equal standard to any developed country.”
Tuilaepa said that Vodafone Samoa has committed $6 million tala this month towards further data speed upgrades in keeping with the Government’s motto: “What is good for Apia, is good for Savaii”.
“When this upgrade goes live, Vodafone customers will experience a next generation service.
Tuilaepa said that Vodafone operates in over 60 countries with 640 million plus customers.
“Their global success is based on providing world class products, total customer service, global innovation and a commitment to excellence,” he said.
“I look forward to our people equally enjoying these benefits from Vodafone’s arrival.
“Globalisation drives staggering technological development, wider market access and better living conditions for the vast majority of the population.”
Tuilaepa also referred to the 2019 launch of the Digital Transformation Authority (D.T.A.), which, he says, will be the building block for the next generation of I.C.T. services in Samoa.
“My government is working on a set of digital initiatives targeting all aspects of Samoa,” the Prime Minister said.
“Expanded connectivity with innovation will also foster better communication between our citizens, connect the unconnected, serve the under-served, stimulate domestic growth and will provide the scope for greater participation in the global information economy.”
The C.E.O. for Vodafone Samoa, Satish Sharma, said he was excited to be part of a launch, even one against the backdrop of such gloomy economic conditions.
“The resilience of mankind will overcome this pandemic and that we will bounce back larger and stronger than ever,” he said.
“I also remain confident that once our lives are restored to normal we can all enjoy a more relaxed and more joyous event to celebrate this historic moment as we launch Vodafone Samoa.
“The journey that has brought Vodafone to Samoa began two years ago and culminated earlier this year as we finalised our commitment and commenced working towards today’s launch.
“The Vodafone Group is one of the world’s leading telecoms and technology service providers.
Mr. Sharma said that Vodafone Samoa is also committed to its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.
“It includes our continued commitment to the development of Rugby at both the international and at grass roots level,” he said.
“The sport of Rugby has given Samoa worldwide recognition, Vodafone is committed to working with the Samoa Rugby Union in furthering this endeavour.”
He said that the company’s continued sponsorship of the Miss Samoa Contest gives opportunities to young Samoan women to stand out on their own.
“We have also endorsed them as our brand ambassadors giving them national recognition; also we are supporting the Samoa Cancer Society and their cause to eradicate cancer from Samoa; and helping the Samoa Victims Support Group and their House of Hope to ensure for a better future for the victims in our community.
“My pledge to you is that, through Vodafone Samoa we will work even harder to bring the latest technologies, products, and global innovations to your communities.
“We are optimistic about how technology and connectivity can enhance the future and improve Samoans lives. Through our business, we aim to build a digital society that enhances socio-economic progress, and embraces all Samoans.”
Attendees included: Chief Executive Officer for Vodafone, Satish Kumar Sharma, Minister of Communications Information and Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupai, and Unit Trust of Samoa (U.T.O.S.) Chief Executive Office, Tevaga Viane Tagiilima.