The future of Pacific Connex and Digicel, two would-be mobile service providers in Fiji, could be decided by the country’s Court of Appeal on 24 July, when it meets to deliberate the matter of the government’s authority to issue new mobile licences.
Earlier this month Fiji’s sole mobile network operator Vodafone filed an injunction against the country’s Telecommunications Ministry in an attempt to stop the government from licensing a new mobile operator. Vodafone’s case centres on the terms of the exclusive licence it was previously awarded by the state which it says prevents the ministry from issuing any more licences for mobile services. The government is keen to introduce competition, although Minister Isireli Leweniqila confirmed that the pending stay order had delayed the issuing of the licence.
The Fijian cabinet approved provisional licenses for Pacific Connex and Digicel earlier this month and the outcome of the case will decide if the two companies can start providing mobile phone services. The Court of Appeal is expected to deliver its judgement on 28 July.