Commerce Minister sets deadline for new licences

29 Oct 2007

Fiji’s interim Commerce Minister Taito Waradi has announced that licences for new entrants in the country’s telecoms market should be issued by the end of next month, adding that the government is in the process of finalising compensation for Fiji’s monopolies, international service provider Fiji International Telecommunications (FINTEL) and local and long-distance operator Fiji Telecom. ‘We have to consider compensation for the remaining seven years that these two companies have under their exclusive licenses. I am confident that this would be resolved by mid next month,’ he told local newspaper The Fiji Times. A mediator has been appointed to conduct negotiations with the two operators, although compensation is not expected to constitute a financial payout.

The minister did not say how many licences the interim government was likely to award, saying only that the global trend was an average of between three to ten companies in the telecoms industry of any given country.