Vodafone Fiji Backs Out of Deal with BeMobile
After only four months of signing an agreement with Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) mobile carrier, BeMobile, Vodafone Fiji has backed out of the deal dashing hopes of a better rival competitor against Irish owned Digicel (PNG) Ltd.
According to Post Courier, differences between BeMobile and Vodafone over the use of a contractor to rollout the new infrastructure is the cause for the falling out.
The joint-venture agreement would have seen Vodafone Fiji manage BeMobile’s telecommunications system and IPBC would own 51% share equity while NPF Fiji could have 40%. The remaining 9% would be shared between PNG Sustainable Development Program (PNGDSP), Steamships, GEMS (PNG) Ltd, Nambawan Super and Nasfund.
State Enterprise Minister, Ben Micah, said they would now have to look at other options. He said Prime Minister O’Neil would be writing to would be formally advising his Fijian counterpart. However, Telikom and IPBC will take over and try to raise the 40% equity.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neil has also confirmed the split saying “negotiations have been difficult in the sense that there were management issues about some contractual obligations that we as a country felt needed to be negotiated properly because of governance issues.”
He said the issue stems from a contractor who has got issues with the government. He said the contractor needs to be cleared before it conducts further business in the country. The contractor is facing legal issues in PNG and Singapore that needs to be resolved properly.