Bank invests $64million to improve telecommunications

Vodafone Samoa's parent company, Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (A.T.H.) Fiji, has received US$25million (T$64million) from the  Asian Development Bank (A.D.B.) to improve telecommunication services in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific.

The funding has been channelled through A.T.H. subsidiary, A.T.H. International Venture Pte. Limited, (ATHIV), the A.D.B. confirmed in a statement. The investment will fund a new 4G mobile telecommunications network.

It is expected to enhance mobile, broadband, and internet services in the country and create opportunities for economic growth and employment. 

The Infrastructure Finance Division Director for Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the Pacific at the A.D.B.'s private sector operations department, Jackie B. Surtani, said the funding demonstrates the Bank’s continued efforts to deliver essential and affordable infrastructure.

“Improved mobile services in PNG will increase domestic and regional connectivity and serve as a powerful access tool for other sectors of the economy such as telemedicine, education, and banking,” he said.

A.T.H.’s Chief Executive Officer, Ivan Fong, said they are pleased to welcome A.D.B. as an investor in the venture. 

“The investment from [the] A.D.B. is a great endorsement for the project and its sponsors, and we look forward to working with A.D.B. to deliver superior technology and services to our customers” he said.

According to the Bank, P.N.G. is the Pacific region’s largest but least-developed telecommunications market, with only 11 per cent of the population having internet access.

Improving infrastructure is expected to boost digital connectivity in low-income communities, especially in rural and remote villages, is expected to spur economic opportunities and new services in finance, health, and education.

The country’s private sector development is also expected to benefit from the investment.

A.T.H. is Fiji's principal telecommunications company and pioneered 4G technology’s arrival in Fiji. 

ATH’s largest subsidiary, Vodafone Fiji Pte. Limited, will manage the project rollout and subsequent operations in Papua New Guinea. 

Vodafone was officially launched in Samoa in April this year.

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