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Vanua Development Corporation Limited, through its subsidiary Pacific Connex Ltd. (PCX) has applied to the Minister for Information, Communications and Media Relations, Dr Ahmed Ali for a licence to operate a 3G (Third Generation) or Universal Mobile/Telephony System (UMTS) wireless network.

NLTB General Manager & PCX Deputy Chairman, Mr Kalivati Bakani mentioned that this is a natural progression from PCX's current involvement in Information Technology Systems. VDCL & PXC involvement in IT and Communications recognises the rapid convergence of these technologies. 3G Technology can provide users with a wide range of high speed and broadband capabilities not currently available in Fiji. It is expected that PCX will deliver these services at affordable and highly competitive prices.

In their advice to the Minister, Mr Bakani confirmed that they believe that the current licence held by Telecom Fiji and Vodafone do not include a 3G network. This is supported by legal advice taken by the Company. Mr Bakani also added, "We are currently in the process of providing additional information to the Minister in support of our application."

It is important that Fijians should be considered as important players in the field of Telecom, Mr Bakani added, given the fact that some countries overseas (primarily New Zealand) are now making claims on the "air waves" as being part of their indigenous heritage. PCX being a majority owned subsidiary of VDCL fits into this category as VDCL's ultimate shareholders are everyone listed in the Vola ni Kawa Bula. This obviously will comply with the provisions of the Social Justice Act and Government's Affirmative Action policies.

Mr Bakani concluded "We believe that the Fiji market requires, in fact demands, that there be another provider of Telecom services in Fiji."

Following the meeting this morning, Mr Bakani confirmed that it was very fruitful and that the Minister for Information, Communications and Media Relations, Hon. Dr Ali was receptive and sympathetic to the proposal.


7th April, 2005

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