29 Feb 2008

Fiji business celebrates arrival of second mobile company

4:31 pm on 29 February 2008

Fiji's Consumer Council says the arrival of the mobile phone company, Digicel, will make mobile phones more affordable and accessible.

Digicel has won a licence for Fiji, ending the monopoly by Vodafone.

Four companies had submitted bids, but Digicel won the license with an offer of 10.25 million US dollars.

41 percent of population uses mobile phones.

But the consumer council says many people can't afford a mobile phone, because the charges of 36 US cents per minute are too high.

Its chief executive officer, Premila Kumar, hopes the competition will force prices down.

"We welcome the competition in our market. We believe that consumers have suffered for far too long with the very high communication cost. To make a call, even to use the internet, it was extremely expensive and consumers were losing out. With a new player, we believe there'll be a true competition and there will be a price war."

Premila Kumar

The market will open up for Digicel in October.