Connect 4G+ Launch – CEO’s Speech

15 Sep, 2016

CEO’s Speech – Connect 4G+ Launch
15th September, 2016
Grand Pacific Hotel

  • The Honorable Prime Minister of Fiji – Mr. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama
  •  Cabinet Ministers
  • Members of the Diplomatic Corp
  • Telecom Fiji Chairman Mr Tom Rickets, ATH Chairman Ajith Kodagoda and Respective Board Members
  • Invited Guests
  • Members of the Media
  • My colleagues at work
  • Ladies and Gentlemen

Bula Vinaka and Good Evening

It gives me immense pleasure in welcoming you all to yet another groundbreaking Telecom Fiji Launch. We have come a long way and we stand strong in our will and commitment to provide Fiji with the best telecommunication and internet solutions. We very well understand the transformative power of Broadband and Internet as an enabler of Social and Economic growth of Fiji and its immense capabilities as a tool to empower Fijians.

Ladies and Gentleman, Liberalization, Deregulation and transparent spectrum allocations, initiated by this Government rejuvenated the Telecom Industry bringing immense benefits to
the People of Fiji. Announcement of Broadband Policy in 2011 and other steps taken by the Fiji Government helped to place Fiji ahead of most Pacific Island countries making Fiji the Telecommunications Hub in Pacific.

Dear Prime Minister, your presence here this evening is testament of the commitment and support your Government has towards Telecommunications industry, and we are grateful to work in line with your objectives of providing telecommunication and internet access to the people of Fiji. I would like to thank the Attorney General and Minister for Economy, Public Enterprise and Communication Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum for his continued support and guidance.

Ladies and Gentleman, TFL is in the midst of transformation. In the last few years, TFL transitioned from its position as an incumbent operator to a player in a very competitive environment. During this transition, we have had to speed up in our Time to Market, become customer centric while introducing various technologies that enable us to leapfrog our legacy infrastructures. We had problems with obsolete network technologies that had high maintenance cost and poor service delivery. After making the company profitable and self-sustaining, we embarked on a journey of transitioning TFL to the future. We are doing this transition in an orderly, gradual, meticulous and most importantly in a cost effective manner.

TFL started building capacity, upgrading to achieve better speeds and performance using multiple access technologies such as ADSL, VDSL, FTTH, GPON on Fixed Wireline and WiFi, LTE / 4G+ and Sattellite on Wireless technologies, in order to cater to the demands of different market segments. Alll these technologies are complementary solutions, not replacing one for the other. Under Fixed Wireline network upgrades, we bring the mini exchanges closer to homes and nearly 50% of populated areas have been upgraded to IP technologies progressively, dismantling the old TDM technology. We are planning to complete this exercise in the next quarter. Once completed Fiji’s Telecom infrastructure will be placed on par with the developed nations. Last year we completed the roll out of WiFi and currently we are in the process of filling the gaps. We will be undertaking a major transformation project to increase capacity of our Sattellite infrastructure to empower Fijians in far flung areas of Fiji. Today we are launching 4G LTE, under the brand name of Connect 4G+. We succefully piloted since last
June and offered this service to nearly 1000 customers as early adopters and received highly positive feedback on Social Media.

Ladies and gentlemen, we positioned Connect 4G+ uniquely in the market, leveraging capabilities inherent to APT 700 spectrum owned by us. We are the 1st operator to launch this service in the South Pacific region on APT700 Spectrum which provides improved coverage (3 times propagation than others frequencies offered by early entrants) and it has excellent properties for indoor signal penetration receiving better signals when you are covered with thick walls. As a result it is more cost effective to roll out and fulfil our requirement of providing service for our Fixed residential and business customers as a fixed complementary solution. However we had to wait patiently for almost 2 years as the End User Devices were not available at an affordable price in the global market. Maturity of technology is considered when we introduced new services to the market and we do not want to be guinea pigs in high value Telecom investments. With the increase proliferation of APT700 technology globally we are now in a position to offer 4G on 700 frequency in a cost competitive manner, revolutionizing 4G landscape of Fiji. We also offer attractive discounts for Fixed and Connect 4G+, complementary bundles for the benefit of our business and residential customers. We also have lined up many new services around 4G+, targeting the large enterprises and Government Institutions. Please stay tune for exciting technology improvements and new service deployments around 4G+.

I thank and appreciate the commitment, dedication and hard work of Telecom Fiji Team who made this project a tremendous success. I also take this opportunity to thank our Technology partner Huawei Technologies and their team based in Fiji, for their commitment and hard work to complete the project on time successfully, overcoming many challenges.

We strongly believe in Partnership and Cohabitation. In fact we share our fibre infrastructure to run other operators’ 4G Backhaul. We also use other operators’ towers selectively to mount our 4G+ antennas and equipments. This is a classic example for Co – existence. Although these are calculated business decisions assessing cost benefit, sharing of infrastructure well fit in to a business environment like Fiji where the user base is limited. I take this opportunity to thank our sister company Vodafone for these partnerships.

I would also like to thank our distribution partners.

Ladies and Gentlemen there is a lot planned out for the people of Fiji and this will be presented to you tonight by the rest of my team. I wish to take this opportunity to thank you all once again for accepting our humble invitation and I wish you all a very pleasant evening.

Vinaka Vakalevu.

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