(TCSI): Residents and businesses in the townships of Noro, Gizo and Munda in the Western Province and Auki in Malaita can now access broadband internet services on their mobile phones.
This is after the country’s biggest mobile network operator, Our Telekom announced that the service went live in the provincial locations today.
The local telecommunications giant announced in late October that it had completed hardware installation work for the next-generation service in the fishing township of Noro.
Back then, the company said in a press statement that final software configurations for the 4G service were underway and anticipated to go online ‘soon’.
Our Telekom also announced in the same statement that similar installations were being carried out in other provincial townships including Gizo, Munda and Auki.
Less than two months later, residents in all four townships will now be able to enjoy a more seamless high-speed mobile broadband experience while on the go – albeit only on 4G capable devices.
Solomon Islands has seen a dramatic change to the country’s mobile telecommunications landscape since the sector’s market was opened up for investment in 2009.
At the time, Our Telekom was already a well-established telephony and internet service provider.
But the company has grown in strength since the market shift, undergoing structural changes to remain relevant and sustainable in its operations.
The move yielded dividends for the company, allowing it to remain as the country’s leading mobile and internet service provider.
Amidst a continuous drop prices for its services over the last decade, Our Telekom has had to respond to the resulting increase in demand for data and high-speed internet access from its customers.
Today’s launch is part of the company’s response to this demand and part of its ongoing efforts to continue offering the best experience to its customers.
These upgrades are expected to also see an increase in data allotments for the company’s ‘Redhot’ standard mobile prepaid data plans.
This means customers will be able to engage in more video and music streaming, gaming and networking at higher speeds.
Public service offices and businesses are also expected to benefit from the improved service.
From a development perspective, the company said the upgrades will also enable business, educational and health programs in both the public and private sectors to expand their reach.
Meanwhile, Our Telekom is also erecting five new 3G towers in Makira and Choiseul Provinces as part of its second Business Transformation Project.
All ten towers are expected to be online by January and February 2021 with further installations expected for Isabel Province.
A further two towers are also planned for Solomon Islands’ remote Shortland Islands.
Telekom’s Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Robertson Szetu confirmed this to TCSI Media in an earlier email interview.
Mr. Szetu said that talks were being held between his company and the Government to build two new mobile towers at Kariki and Nila.
But the Telekom manager said negotiations were still underway to determine whether those towers would be 3G or 4G+ LTE capable.
Solomon Telekom Company Limited (Our Telekom) is a joint venture company between Solomon Islands National Provident Fund, (SINPF) which holds 97.32% of the shares, and the Investment Corporation of the Solomon Islands (ICSI) which owns 2.68% of the shares.