It seems like just the other day that I was writing about Digicel’s arrival in Fiji.  Well, it’s safe to say that their impact has been immediate and significant.

Earlier reports confirm what everyone in Fiji already knows about mobile calling rates.  Digicel entered the market in October of 2008 and since that time incumbent provider Vodafone has slashed rates by 44% to hold on to market share.

Peak rates for Vodafone “on-net” calls have been dropped from 27 cents a unit to 15 cents a unit or 30 cents a minute in comparison to 54 cents previously. Off peak rates have been slashed from 18 cents a unit to 12 cents a unit or 24 cents a minute. SMS charges have been dropped by 50 per cent to 10 cents per txt compared to 20 cents earlier.

As these two companies battle it out, it should be consumers who rejoice. 

Real Competition in the mobile sector will mean continued improvements in these areas:

  • improvements in call quality
  • expanded coverage areas
  • responsive customer support
  • more frequent releases of services and features in-demand with customers

And really, the list of benefits is far too extensive to be detailed here.  The real measure of the success of Digicel’s entry into the market will be made several years down the road.

Digicel has built its reputation on monopoly-busting in small markets all over the Caribbean and the Pacific and there’s nothing to indicate that they will stray from their credo as they expand in Fiji.

Announcement of their donation of $500,000 to assist victims of the recent floods in Fiji, as well as their plans to build a green-powered mobile network in Vanuatu show Digicel’s comittment to being a genuine partner in the Pacific.