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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Feb. 5, 2008) - Telikom’s acting chief executive officer, Peter Loko, admits the government-owned Telecommunication company has failed the Papua New Guinean people.

[PIR editor’s note: Telikom PNG Ltd. is private telephone company that has had a monopoly in Papua New Guinea until the recent entry of Caribbean- based Digicel. ]

Mr. Loko made the admission at a breakfast meeting with members of the East New Britain Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Saturday in Kokopo.

He said Telikom had let the people down, acknowledging the company needed to improve its services. Loko said the company had a long way to go to satisfy its customers and appealed to Papua New Guineans to "stick with us."

Loko said the competition with new mobile phone company Digicel had created bad publicity for Telikom over the recent months.

He promised a bigger and better service in the near future, saying Telikom was ready to embrace the challenges in the newly created competitive telecommunication market in the country. Some of the better services he promised included broadband internet (BBL), 4G phone data network which would outclass Australia’s best, and PGK100 million [US$37 million] worth of new radio links across the country.

But Chamber members have heard these promises before. About a year ago, a Telikom management team met with the members at a breakfast meeting and they were promised improved services within the first 100 days of the new management. Since then they have not seen much improvement, let alone the new services.

But Loko said there was a new motivator, the market share, and appealed to Papua New Guineans to continue to take advantage of Telikom’s services which were now affordable because of the market competition. He said change was not something Telikom was good at but they were ready to interconnect to allow its customers to connect to Digicel mobile phones.

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