From: PNG Post-Courier - 11/07/2008
Papua New Guinea could be the first country in the world to have its mobile phone networks powered by coconut fuel. Irish company, Digicel, is carrying out trials on Bougainville amid growing concerns about soaring fuel prices and global warming threats.
[PIR editor's note: Digicel Pacific is a sister company to Digicel Group, an aggressive mobile phone company that has been operating in the Caribbean since 2001. Digicel Pacific began operations in Samoa in 2006, recently in Tonga, and currently has licenses to operate in Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands (Digicel Fij's license has not yet been granted). The company claims to have driven mobile rates down by up to 50 percent in the Caribbean.]
The trials are being carried out at one of Digicel's towers in Lontis on the far north of Buka Island.
[PIR editor's note: Buka Island is located just off the northern tip of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville. Buka is the second largest island in the province of Bougainville]
Digicel began operations on Bougainville in March this year and contracted a Buka-based engineering firm owned by businessman Matthias Horn, to carry out the trials. The pilot project is expected to run for about three months.