11 Jun 2008

Solomon Telekom isn't for sale

10:00 am on 11 June 2008

Negotiations by Digicel, the fastest-growing mobile operator in the South Pacific for the take over of Solomon Telekom has reached a dead-end.

The Coalition for National Unity and Rural Advancement Government told Digicel officials over the weekend that Solomon Telekom is not for sale.

Digicel applied for a licence 18-months ago but cannot be issued with one due to a court injunction instituted by Solomon Telekom to protect its 15 year exclusive telecommunications licence granted by the Kemakeza Government in 2003.

Finance and Treasury Minister Snyder Rini says Digicel is still committed to come and invest in the country and vowed to extend and improve coverage and telecommunications to remote areas in the provinces.

He says Digicel is prepared to pump into the economy up to 40 million US dollars during its initial establishment stage.

Mr Rini says Digicel also made assurances that it will reduce telecommunication cost like in other regional countries like Papua New Guinea and Samoa.