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Samoa announces decision to award new GSM Digital Cellular Telecommunications license...posted 10Mar06

Government of Samoa

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology


Apia, Samoa, 8 March, 2006  Today, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, the Honourable Palusalue Faapo II, announced a decision to award a new GSM digital cellular telecommunications licence in Samoa. The decision concludes a competitive licensing process that was launched on 4 October, 2005. Five applications for the licence were received on 10th February, 2006.

The Minister announced that the licence will be awarded to a new company to be jointly owned by Computer Services Ltd. (CSL), Samoas largest internet service provider and a wireless network operator, and Digicel Ltd. which operates GSM networks in 15 Caribbean island nations. The new company will be called Digicel Samoa Ltd.

In making the announcement, the Minister said: The Government of Samoa is very pleased to have received five good applications to provide GSM services. We have selected the applicant that best met the criteria established in our competitive process. Digicel Samoa Ltd demonstrated that it has the most experience and the strong financial capability to quickly build and operate a world-class new GSM network to serve all areas of  Samoa.

Digicel Samoa Ltds application proposes to build a state-of the art GSM cellular network, with over 40 cell sites throughout Samoa. The company will hire 27 permanent employees, and create up to 200 indirect jobs in construction, sales and distribution channels. The new network will be operational within 6 months.

The Minister added that: The licensing of a new GSM cellular service is the next step in our program to modernize the telecommunications sector in Samoa. Last year we passed the Telecommunications Act 2005, and established a modern telecommunications regulatory framework. We have now successfully completed an open competition to licence an experienced new telecommunications operator for Samoa. As a result of our telecommunications modernization program, the people of Samoa will see more competition, lower prices and a wide range of new services.

The Government of Samoa was advised throughout the licensing process by McCarthy Tétrault, a large Canadian law firm with a leading international telecommunications practice. They have advised on similar licensing processes in over a dozen countries.

Minister Palusalue Faapo II added: We are pleased with the recent progress made by both existing telecommunications operators, Samoa Tel and Telecom Samoa Cellular Ltd. to expand coverage in Samoa. Introduction of the new GSM network operator will provide a stimulus to ensure that there is healthy competition among all Samoan telecommunications service providers. The result will be that Samoans will receive among the best telecommunications services at the best prices in the South Pacific.

For further information, please contact the CEO of MCIT, Mr. Tuaimalo Asamu Ah Sam. (Fax: +685-24671- E-mail:

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