25 Aug 2006

Fiji commerce commission open to phone competition

1:44 pm on 25 August 2006

The Fiji commerce commission says it would be beneficial for Fiji to have another mobile phone provider.

Vodafone holds the monopoly in Fiji's mobile phone business, but a Jamaican company, Digicel, wants to set up a service to Fiji and it has a provisional license to operate.

Digicel had a partnership with Ba Provincial Holdings Limited, but its new chair, Ratu Tevita Momoedonu, is warning the government of bloodshed if Digicel is allowed to operate in Fiji.

The Deputy Chair of the Commerce Commission, Ioane Naiveli, says the commission is arguing for other phone companies to come into the country.

"The commerce commission is encouraging competition, that is what our role is. So we would really encourage any competition for our consumers. Because that would determine the prices. Because once there is a market there, the market forces determine prices, there will be competition."

Ioane Naiveli.

The chair of Digicel, Dennis O'Brian, meanwhile says it is committed to stay in Fiji.