An unconfirmed report in the Fiji Village newspaper says that the country will launch 4G mobile services next week at a ceremony headed by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama. The announcement was made by acting PM and attorney general Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum during a speech to the 1st Tertiary ICT Group 2013 Conference, being held at the University of the South Pacific this week.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in July this year the auction of frequencies to provide Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in Fiji kicked off with domestic operators Telecom Fiji Limited (TFL), Vodafone Fiji and Digicel Fiji lining up to place their bids for 20 lots of frequency on offer. In what was the government’s first-ever 4G auction, companies looked to secure frequency blocks carrying minimum valuations of between FJD131,250 and FJD504,000 (USD70,049 and USD268,986). By the end of the process, Vodafone Fiji had secured its entire 30MHz quota for 4G spectrum, offering FJD144,000 for each of the six lots of 5MHz 4G spectrum blocks purchased in the LTE-1800 band (i.e. FJD864,000). Digicel paid a total of FJD1.94 million for its 30MHz block of frequencies; it acquired three blocks of LTE-suitable spectrum in the 800MHz band for FJD1.26 million and added blocks in the LTE-1800 band. Meanwhile, TFL secured FJD2.2 million worth of frequencies as a result of the auction – again securing a total of 30MHz, thought to be three blocks of LTE-800 and three of LTE-1800.