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PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, Aug. 21 ) - French Polynesia Finance Minister Emile Vanfasse has indicated he supports a second cellular phone company operating in Tahiti, which would provide the first competition to the 10-year-old monopoly of Tikiphone.

Vanfasse met this past week with François Gerin, assistant general manager of Siemens, and Julien Siu, who represents Mara Telecom. They discussed opening up the French Polynesia cell phone market with a second operating license.

Mara Telecom, with the support of Siemens, showed its interest in obtaining an operating license under the French Polynesia Telecommunications Code, the ministry stated in a communiqué.

"The mobile telephone market in French Polynesia is completely capable of absorbing a second operator, just as has been shown in studies conducted in island economies such as ours," the communiqué stated.

It also noted that "synergies likely to be deployed jointly with the current operator, Tikiphone, will quickly allow an optimization of investments to be carried out for creating offers for innovative services".

The length of a second operating license remains to be determined, along with its cost, but "the opening of such a market could only be positive for the economy of French Polynesia", the Finance Ministry communiqué stated.

August 23, 2004

Tahitipresse: http://www.tahitipresse.pf/index.cfm?lang=2

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