Deregulation moves forward with announcement of an auction to determine which companies will receive a license to compete in Fiji’s mobile market. Vodafone has enjoyed monopoly status for 13 years, under the previously negotiated deal which gave monopoly status to ATH companies.
It is understood companies that have been shortlisted can enter the auction and details on this are being finalized by the Commerce ministry.
Read the article here.
It’s really funny. A country that has been held back from competition for so long is pretty much in the same position as the United States. The auctioning of mobile licenses is going on as the same time that the US Govt. is undergoing the same process to auction a portion of the broadcast spectrum being vacated by television stations. Here’s an excerpt of an article from the San Francisco Chronicle:
The minimum bid is $4.6 billion for the C block of 700 megahertz wireless spectrum, which is being freed up as part of the federally mandated shift from analog to digital television by 2009.
Of course, things move at a different pace in Fiji. The Govt. of Fiji should also put several stipulations into the licenses. Requiring the bidders to pay into a pool annually, which the govt. can use to develop a Wi-max network covering the country especially rural areas out of mobile coverage. These networks have been unveiled in many parts of the western United States and have all sorts of added-benefits like helping law enforcement communicate in these remote areas.