More than K100 million (US$39 million) has been spent to upgrade the telecommunications sector to make it more competitive in the 21st century market, Papua New Guinea's Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) managing director Wasantha Kumarasiri said.
According to an Oxford Business Group publication, Kumarasiri said in its (IPBC) effort to revolutionise the telecommunication sector, Telikom PNG Ltd, a state-owned-enterprise, had undergone changes worth K123 million (US$58.7 million) to make it more competitive in the current market.
“The company is upgrading its antiquated equipment to deliver a more reliable service for its customers,” Kumarasiri said.
He said access to wireless communication solutions and high-speed broadband were also being improved through a new fibre optic network worth K71 million.
“And an additional capacity valued at US$88 million is being installed as part of the PNG liquefied natural gas (LNG) project,” Kumarasiri said.
He said these initiatives had to be a solution, which also includes extending GSM (global system for mobile) and CDMA (code division multiple access) coverage.
Meanwhile, Kumarasiri said upcoming projects included significant expenditure in telecommunication sector and other sectors, including development of port infrastructure and improving power supplies.
Among them include the relocation of Port Moresby wharf.
Kumarasiri said IPBC is working on the project to see it being carried out successfully.
“It is expected that this project will require significant expenditure. Once completed, it will improve the movement of cargo and port efficiency.”
He also said development of the Lae tidal basin project will bring maximum benefits to the country as a whole.
“The Lae tidal basin development project, which is in excess of US$400 million (K968.5 million) will have its benefits delivered to the public.”
He said investments were being delivered in key public utility service sectors.
Kumarasiri said in a way, it is IPBC’s aim to facilitate the public-private partnership or operation and management agreements.
“The private sector has some natural benefits, including new sources of funding, modern work practices and ability to foster expertise that SOE’s (state owned enterprises) are currently lacking in management areas.