Similar to the Voice Telephony Project, the Internet Services Project is one of three (3) components under the Rural Communication Project for which a one-time capital subsidy of United States Dollars Five Million (US$5.0 million) was provided under the Financing Agreement.
The aim of the Internet Services Project was to provide 3G broadband internet services through the upgrading of existing 2G or installation of new cell towers in selected areas throughout the country that do not have access to internet.
The Internet Services Project was implemented in two (2) separate projects. Following open and competitive public tender processes, Telikom PNG Ltd and Digicel PNG Ltd were awarded the contracts for the first 3G Internet Project, while Digicel PNG Limited was the sole awardee of the second 3G Internet Project.
Under the first 3G Internet Project, Telikom PNG Limited (now Kumul Telikom Holdings) installed fourteen (14) new 3G towers while Digicel upgraded forty-five (45) 2G towers to 3G. A total of fifty-nine (59) towers were either newly built or upgraded from 2G to 3G. In the second 3G Internet Project, Digicel PNG Limited upgraded a further sixty-one (61) mobile towers from 2G to 3G. Over six hundred thousand people in rural PNG now have 3G mobile internet services.
After the completion of the project in August 2018, an estimated target population of 1,000,000 people PNG now have access to the Internet services through 3G mobile technology.