Telecommunications and ICT

Telecommunications is now considered an infrastructure essential to a country’s economic development and competitiveness. Apart from facilitating communication and various economic activities, telecommunications is an economic sector in itself. The mobile phone boom worldwide has created jobs and generated income for the government, operators, manufacturers, service providers, and application/content developers. In developing countries, mobile phones serve as the universal access tool, especially for their low-income populations.

ICT, which includes computers, software applications, and the internet, are benefiting countries and their citizens. A 2009 World Bank report found that for every 10 percent increase in high speed internet connections, there is a 1.3 percent increase in economic growth. The impact of ICTs is also seen in their creative and cost-efficient use in basic sectors, such as education, health, and agriculture, among others.

Title Description
Tonga-Fiji Submarine Cable Project The Tonga-Fiji Submarine Cable Project will provide a submarine fiber optic cable system linking Tonga to Fiji where an existing international submarine cable system will provide onward cost-effective access to the rest of the world. This will provide substantially higher initial capacity of 10 Gpbs and reduce international connectivity costs by at least 50%. The submarine cable system will stimulate increased take-up of broadband internet, and lower the cost of telecommunications services.
Bemobile Expansion Project The Project aims to (i) strengthen Bemobile's telecommunication backbone infrastructure to reduce its reliance on the legacy infrastructure of Telikom PNG (the state-owned telecom service provider); (ii) upgrade and expand its existing network in PNG to increase national geographic and population coverage; and (iii) in Solomon Islands (SOL), continue the roll-out of its nationwide network. The expanded network is expected to serve a new capacity of 1.4 million customers through 500 sites, most of which are in rural areas with limited telecom infrastructure.
Strengthening Regulatory Capacity for Information and Communication Technology Development in the Pacific This technical assistance will deliver ICT regulatory advisory services through the Pacific ICT Regulatory Resource Center (PIRRC), thus contributing to (i) frequent sharing of experiences and international best practices; (ii) strengthening the capacity of ICT regulatory bodies and policy makers; (iii) providing demand driven advisory services; and (iv) raising broad-based awareness to demand for better ICT regulations.