Solomon Telekom is set to upgrade its mobile network this year, the Island Sun newspaper reports, with 100 new base stations set for deployment in both urban and rural locations during the coming months. CEO Loyley Ngira commented: ‘One hundred new Telekom towers will soon be built in the coming months and the project will also boost the network system in urban areas’. Ngira said that the deployment seeks to boost business activities in rural areas, adding: ‘The Solomon Islands is made up of scattered islands, and business opportunities are very hard [in rural areas]. I hope Telekom will ease this’. The network expansion will predominantly take place in the Honiara, Malaita and Western provinces.
Telekom’s network currently covers 47 locations across the Oceanic sovereign state, which consists of nearly 1,000 islands. 3G connectivity is currently offered in the towns of Honiara and Auki (both situated in the Malaita province), although Telekom’s website claims that ‘other locations [are] soon to follow suit’. In late-November 2011 Solomon Telekom’s sole wireless rival Bemobile launched a 3G dongle in Honiara, marking its subscribers’ first taste of 3G connectivity.