Govt urged to show numbers on merger

The Government has been challenged to reveal what impact the proposed merger of state telecommunications companies will have on call, message and data prices.

Director of the National Research Institute, Dr Charles Yala, described to Loop PNG that the Governments reasons for the proposed merge of Telikom, Bemobile, and Dataco, were just flowery words.

He said he was more interested in how telco services would cost.

“My challenge to them is I want to see numbers. I want them to promise the people of PNG that once this new system is up and running, internet rates which are going at this rate will now be at this rate by this time. Mobile phones (calls) that are going at this rate will be this rate at this time.

“We want to see that those benchmark numbers so that we can hold the company and the government accountable. At the moment (there) are flowery words. I want to see the numbers,” Dr Yala said.

Minister for National Planning and Acting Minister for State Investment and Public Enterprise, Charles Abel, announced last month that the rationale behind the merger of the three Telco’s is to ensure there is synergy between the state-owned companies and that they are not competing against each other.

He said both Bemobile and DataCo will become subsidiaries of Kumul Telikom, however will remain individually intact. Kumul Telikom will also remain a 100 per cent subsidiary of KCH.