Thursday, 11 September 2008 2:56 PM

Digicel Boss Visits Solomon Islands

The owner of the International Mobile company Digicel, Denis O'Brien, travelled to Honiara on his private jet yesterday and paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Derek Sikua.

Apart from meeting with the Prime Minister the delegation also met with the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Fred Fono, Finance Minister Hon. Snyder Rini and Communications and Aviation Minister Hon. Varian Longamei.

O'Brien's delegation that travelled to Honiara also included the CEO of Digicel Pacific Vanessa Slowey, fuelling speculation that Digicel will soon enter the Solomon Islands market.

Digicel previously applied for a license to operate in Solomon Islands but its attempt has been frustrated after its High Court challenge to the exclusivity clause in Our Telekom's 15 year monopoly license, was knocked back in the High Court.

Meanwhile, the Government is planning to review the exclusivity clause in Our Telekom's license which essentially granted Our Telekom a 15 year monopoly since the 17th November 2003, the date the agreement was signed.

The Director of Communications Robert Bokelema told the National Express that the Government by policy, wants to open up the telecommunications market, but this has not been possible because of the exclusivity clause in Telekom's 15 year license.

Bokelema said that the Government would invoke the relevant clause in the agreement which provides for a review of the license after five years so that the Government could negotiate the exclusivity clause on the 17th of November 2008.

WITH NATIONAL EXPRESS