Since the introduction of mobile
competition in October 2007, people in Papua New Guinea are able to
own affordable mobile handsets and make cheaper calls for both
business and personal use. In a country with rugged mountains and
isolated islands, the mobile revolution has been embraced by ordinary
Papua New Guineans. Over two million more people in PNG and the
Pacific now have mobile phones compared to a decade ago.
“Before, whenever there was a death
in the village, people had to travel long distances to the nearest
government station or town to notify relatives in other provinces.
But now we don’t have to because everyone has mobile phones and we
can just call from the village”, said Mary, a housewife in Port
Moresby who uses her mobile phone to get in touch with people in her
The World Bank has been helping to
facilitate improved access to mobile phones and a stronger policy and
regulatory framework for ICT all over the Pacific region. Working
with other development partners, coupled with increased investment by
the private sector, has reduced the cost of services and dramatically
In 2011, 26 percent of people in PNG
had access to mobile phones. Before there was competition among
telecom providers, only 4 percent of the population had access to
either a fixed line or a mobile phone.
While these figures are still low
compared to other countries in the region, it is a big difference
with the time when there was only one operator. Back then, the
handsets were too expensive and call rates were too high and just
owning one was considered a luxury.
Competition among mobile operators has
brought another dimension to the mobile revolution, such as mobile
banking, sending money and purchasing utilities such as electricity
using mobile phones, all of which are making life easier for everyday
Papua New Guineans.
(Source: World Bank)