Category Archives: Technology

Expiry Date for Registered SIM Cards

By : Post Courier

Like a driving licence or a motor vehicle, there is an expiry date set under legislation for their validity.

Can NICTA as regulator do the same with phone SIM cards under the current registration exercise, or eventually is that its intention.

Of course the underlying intention is undisputable considering security of persons and verification of users and all the other too important reasons.

The matter arises because the rush has begun in the countdown for the registration of SIM cards for mobile phone users in PNG.

And this has to be done within the last 10 days of this year because come midnight December 31, 2017 connection to all unregistered phones will be automatically cut off.

This applies right across the board whether or not you are an urban or rural dweller with a cell phone using the Digicel, Bmobile or other networks.

So far there has not been any indication from NICTA of any possible extension of time for the registration exercise.

In Digicel’s efforts to meet the deadline, they have now engaged students to carry out the registration of almost one million subscribers that have not yet been accounted.

They claim to have already registered up to 700,000 network users.

For the networks, there has to be up to date correlation with NICTA which issues the SIM cards and quick, efficient and accurate entry of registration details to avoid penalising customers that have already filled out the required documentation to confirm with the instruction.

This is because NICTA keeps sending prompts to subscribers that have already registered their mobile phones with Digicel.

This indicates a lack of correlation and discrepancy between the mobile networks and NICTA’s registration data base.

Customers that have already registered cannot be penalised through no fault of theirs.

The significant point that must be made clear now by NICTA is when the registrations of mobile phones expire.

There is no clear information about this critical factor because mobile phone users are entitled to know at the earliest what is in store for them on the long term.

The question arises considering that registration of SIM cards could be converted, intended or aligned as a major revenue raising protocol in the immediate future for the regulator.

A single registration definitely is not intended for a lifetime.


Sim Registration Nears Deadline

BY ROBINSON LEKA  ( Post Courier )

With almost under a week to go, the pressure to register sim cards before the December 31, continues to build as both mobile service providers and their customers find themselves in a long and rigorous registration process.

Digicel for the past three weeks has set mobile registration booths for their customers throughout Port Moresby to register their phone numbers.

The Waterfront Foodworld at Konedobu has been busy for the past three days with customers flooding in to register their sim cards.

Registration on Tuesday was put on hold as the network faced connection issues in uploading registered customer’s information, forcing Digicel officers on ground to call off registrations for the day.

One major challenge for Digicel this month is the upkeep of its network systems to facilitate a huge amount of subscribers registering their sim cards.

Digicel PNG is currently the largest mobile network operator in Papua New Guinea, with roughly 4 million subscribers, of which, only about 1.5 million have registered so far.

Dianne Auko, an officer with the Digicel sim registration team, described the situation as hectic as she and her team continue to register more customers.

“Even though the customers are harsh, we have to be patient and explain the process to them so that we can help them register their sims before the end of the month,” Auko said.

Student Selection Now Online

By PETER ESILA (The National )


THE government’s online selection for grade 12 school leavers entering tertiary institutions has been launched with the final acceptance list expected next week.

Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Minister Pila Niningi said questions raised on the accountability and transparency of the selection process would be a thing of the past.

“I hope today will be where the success story begins,” he said.

“Our objective is to promote transparency, accountability and most importantly increase the probability of capable and eligible school leavers in being admitted while ensuring institutions’ autonomy in the selections process is maintained.”

The event was witnessed by Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas and 100 selectors from accredited institutions who entered their selection criteria and quotas into the system.

“What it is doing is selecting the students, the best candidates,” he said.

“If it is not the first preference, it goes to the second and third preference.”

Department Secretary Fr Jan Czuba said the government would reduce costs by around K6 million annually.

“That’s how much it cost to select students,” Czuba said.

“So next year, all the institutions will be selecting students from their own officers. This is a significant event in our country and in the higher education sector.”

Czuba said the list would be finalised next week depending on the institutions which would send the list confirmed by the system.

“We want parents to know before Christmas when will their children go and to which institution so they can make preparations,” he said.

DPM Briefs World Bank

Press Release : Office of the Prime Minister


Deputy Prime Minister Briefs World Bank and IMF on Next Moves to Advance PNG Economy
Submarine Internet Cable and Concessional Funding for Restructuring Debt Discussed

Engagement with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, that will stimulate positive economic development in the face of global challenges, has been advanced at meetings in Washington D.C. by the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Hon. Charles Abel MP.

Deputy Prime Minister Abel said the new submarine fibre optic communications cable project, that will deliver cheaper and faster Internet, and the provision of concessional financing for the restructuring of existing debt, will deliver positive economy stimulus for the economy.

“Papua New Guinea has a close working relationship with the World Bank and IMF, and the benefits of this engagement will become even more obvious to our people with the delivery of cheaper and faster Internet.

“Working with the World Bank, and also our partners in Australia, the new submarine communications cable will deliver greater Internet access for Papua New Guineans.

“The new communications cable will make the Internet we received on our computers and smart phones much faster, and with the increased supply we will see Internet data prices fall.

“Increased access to the Internet is essential if we are to advance Papua New Guinea’s economy and improve service delivery.

“The submarine cable has been the subject of much discussion in recent years, and now we are moving ahead so that it will be in place ahead of the APEC Summit.

“The time given to our country by the World Bank and IMF executive for meetings in Washington was tremendous.

“I took the opportunity to remind them of the particular circumstances of Papua New Guinea and the Pacific small island states.

“I said PNG has globally significant natural assets to build a new, responsible, sustainable economy that brings inclusive development to its people but also can support climate change mitigation globally.

“We are confronted with our immediate development challenges and are also on the frontline of the effects of climate change.”

The Deputy Prime Minister said discussions with the World Bank on restructuring existing debt with concessional funding will further simplify debt that has been established over recent decades, and reduce servicing costs.

“Papua New Guinea has never defaulted on a debt payment, and this is respected by global institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

“We are in talks with the World Bank and IMF so that we can bring together a number of scattered debts and consolidate these under a single debt facility at a much more favourable interest rate.

“Debt consolidation will save public funds and retire outstanding loans quicker than had previously been possible.”

Deputy Prime Minister Abel was accompanied by Treasury Secretary, Dairi Vele, and the Governor for the Bank of Papua New Guinea, Loi Bakani.

As well as the main Plenary Sessions of the World Bank Meeting, the DPM participated on 3 panels, including a panel with the World Bank CEO, and the Finance Ministers for Indonesia and Serbia, on Asia and the Growing Middle Class and Inclusive Development.

The DPM also had 15 meetings including separate meetings with CEO of the World Bank, Kristalina Gregorieva, Asia Pacific Director, Victoria Kwakwa, and Australian Treasurer, Scott Morrison.

Basil to Cut Costs

By : The National


NEW Communication, Information Technology and Energy Minister Sam Basil wants to put in place “responsible, affordable and accessible” communication in radio, television and the internet during his tenure.

Thanking Prime Minister Peter O’Neill yesterday for assigning him the ministry, Basil said he looked forward to serving the people as a member of Cabinet.

“I will issue official statements on the way forward in the ministry of communications, information technology and energy after being briefed by relevant government departments and agencies,” he said in a statement.

The Communication and Information Technology portfolio was formerly held by Francis Maneke, the Talasea MP from West New Britain, who has since been decommissioned.

The Energy portfolio was held by Fabian Pok, the Minister for Petroleum.

O’Neill said the changes would strengthen the Government’s focus on key growth sectors “that will have a direct impact on business development and community advancement”.

“I have great confidence in the minister’s (Basil’s) capacity to meet the challenges and opportunities that our country faces in these areas (communications and energy),” O’Neill said.

“There are clear synergies between the energy and communications sectors brought about by technological advances that are enabling Papua New Guinea to deliver positive change not only in urban areas, but also in rural and remote areas.”

Basil said he wanted to see a sustainable energy policy and regulatory framework to power up industries, urban and rural areas.

“Energy is often the first utility requirement before water and telecommunications so we must get our energy policy right,” Basil said. In communications, Basil plans to review the National Broadcasting Commission and provincial radio stations.

He wants the re-introduction of shortwave and medium wave frequencies to improve radio access in remote rural areas as was in the early 1980s.

Basil also hopes to review NBC funding, revenue generation and financial management to see that cash flow and its implications on wages are addressed urgently.

He is the parliamentary leader of the 15 Pangu Pati MPs who recently crossed from the Opposition following the formation of the Government after the general election.

Pangu Pati Leader Appointed Minister

By GORETHY KENNETH ( Post Courier )

PANGU Pati leader Sam Basil is now the new Minister for Communications, Information Technology and Energy.

He replaces Talasea MP Francis Maneke, whom Prime Minister Peter O’Neill removed while he was on an overseas trip.

His appointment by Mr O’Neill was based on his intention of realigning ministerial portfolios and strengthening the national government’s focus on key growth sectors, that would have a direct impact on business development and community advancement.

An elated Mr Basil in response said he looked forward to serving the people of PNG, citing national broadcaster National Broadcasting Corporation as an entity which deserved close attention in terms of funding and resourcing.

He thanked the Prime Minister for appointing him adding as an overview he would be looking at responsible, affordable and accessible communications in radio, television, internet and cybercrime.

As promised by Mr O’Neill a minor Cabinet reshuffle cannot happen because coalition partners will not accept the changes. Mr O’Neill also appointed another two Pangu vice ministers as part of his appreciation for the party’s move away from the Opposition, making it the second largest coalition partner in government now.

Mr O’Neill thanked Mr Maneke for his short-lived ministerial time and for placing the government’s and national interest above any other considerations.

“Ours is a coalition government in which we must have representation in the Cabinet for all partners in the government.

“There is a set number of Cabinet positions available, and I thank the Member for placing the interests of the government and the nation above all else.

“He is a very capable Member and Minister and has a strong ministerial future in the years ahead.

“In our system of government it is essential that we continue to evolve Cabinet and ministerial allocations in the interest of ensuring consultation and diversity of representation.

“Together, in our government, across districts and provinces, and agencies and departments, we will work together to deliver positive change for the people of Papua New Guinea,” Mr O’Neill said.

He said Mr Basil will be responsible for the energy and communications sectors that are crucial for growing a modern economy.

He said there were clear synergies between the energy and communications brought about by technological advances that are enabling Papua New Guinea to deliver positive change not only in urban areas, but also in rural and remote areas.

“The global energy sector is continually evolving with access to more cost-effective power generation and Papua New Guinea must be at the forefront of harnessing new technologies.

“Modern sources of energy production are more efficient and environmentally friendly, reducing the impact on local ecologies and reducing the causes of climate change.

“Papua New Guinea has already seen one of the most rapid up-takes of new digital communications in the world and we must increase penetration into remote areas.

“Through better communications, people around the country have access to information that changes lives.

“Doctors can access the latest techniques to better treat illnesses and injuries, teachers can deliver improved education for their students, and families can stay in touch regardless of distance.

“Several years ago APEC committed to achieve village access to the Internet as a baseline and we are working to achieve this goal.

“As Minister, Sam Basil will make sure there is increased consultation with our partners and global experts, and work through APEC to improve access to improved technologies that can be implemented at the local level.”

Meantime, Mr Basil has thanked the Prime Minister and looks forward to serving the people in line with the Alotau Accord II. He will issue an official statement soon.

Law Reform Office Receives Support from Agency

By : The National


THE Constitutional and Law Reform Commission (CLRC) received support yesterday for its work, courtesy of a non-governmental organisation, Bloomberg Data for Health Initiative (BD4HI).

CLRC Secretary Dr Eric Kwa said they had a partnership with the Bloomberg in the review of laws relating to civil registration and vital statistics which was mainly looking at data on births and deaths and marriages.

He said the support was timely as CLRC had now begun reviewing the Civil Registration Act focusing on making it a single piece of legislation.

“In PNG we have a little over 4000 laws. This office is quite small and we cannot review all the laws in two to three years,” Kwa said.

“We have targeted the colonial laws first and will review to make them up-to-date and we will also focus on new laws that will improve the lives of our people.

“When Bloomberg approached us to work together to improve laws relating to data collection stage and dissemination, we were already working on the Civil Registration Act, so we decided to focus on that.”

BD4HI is a global group based in Melbourne with headquarters in New York, United States.

It had been supporting data collection and reporting of health statistics in a number of middle-income countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Bloomberg country coordinator Dr Ninkama Moiya said they were working in partnership with Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and had sponsored the revitalisation and the functions of data and statistics in this country.

“One of the things that we are working on is looking at all the laws that have an impact on CRVS functions and systems,” Moiya said.

“It it is a four-year project and it ends in 2019.

“We are happy to be here to present the computers to Constitutional and Law Reform Commission to help them in their work on reviewing the laws.”

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