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Kacific to compete with SES in backhauling Vodafone PNG

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The company operating Vodafone-branded services in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has added a second satellite provider to support its rural coverage.

Vodafone PNG said it had commissioned Kacific Broadband Satellites to provide backhaul for 3G and 4G services.

Brandon Seir, Kacific’s chief commercial officer, said: “Kacific and Vodafone PNG see huge potential for growth in Papua New Guinea, as well as a genuine thirst from the country’s citizens for affordable and reliable mobile and data services. Together we aim to disrupt the market in a way that brings more choice and better connectivity to everyday people.”

Kacific (pictured) follows two months after Vodafone PNG announced a pact to use SES’s O3b medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite constellation. Ivan Fong, director at Vodafone PNG, said then: “Papua New Guinea’s mobile and internet market has enormous growth potential, but this has been hampered by geographical challenges, limited speed and connectivity choices.”

Vodafone PNG – which uses the name under licence from the Vodafone group – is owned by Digitec Communications, a subsidiary of Amalgamated Telecom Holdings and Austel Investment.

Nirmal Singh, managing director of Vodafone PNG, said: “Kacific satellite services vastly reduce the cost and complexity of remote terminal installation, allowing Vodafone to rapidly deploy our network across the nation, including to the underserved rural areas. Together we are providing greater access on a large scale, helping increase Papua New Guinea’s basic infrastructure in order to grow and prosper.”

Seir said: “There is real potential for satellite-based communication services to help Papua New Guinea increase access to communications services from 10% in 2009 to 100% of the population.”

Capacity has an interview with Kacific founder and CEO Christian Patouraux in the upcoming August/September issue.

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