16 Mar 2011

Third mobile operator could enter Solomon Islands in April

7:23 pm on 16 March 2011

The Solomon Islands Telecommunications Commission says a third competitor could enter the mobile phone market as early as next month.

The Commission issued a request for applications for a mobile telecommunications licence last month, however the two existing operators, Solomon Telekom and BeeMobile sought an injunction through the court.

The Commissioner, Nicholas Williams, says they've agreed to suspend the application process to allow for consultation with the two licence holders in the hope it can continue with its plans for a third competitor in the market.

"The suspension actually ends on the 25th of this month but I've said to the players I'll entertain comments on the consultation that we put out quickly up til the 30th of March, after which time I'll have to consider those comments. And it maybe that it's the middle of April before we reach a decision on whether we're in a position to restart the RFA, request for applications."

Nicholas Williams says he hopes a third mobile operator can help drive down prices, add variety to the services provided and improve coverage.