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GSM Coverage Expands in the Solomon Islands

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Solomon Islands monopoly telco, Solomon Telekom (trading as Breeze GSM) is expanding its GSM network and is due to launch its service in the Makira provincial capital, Kirakira, on Tuesday 29th July, 2008. The network was completed at the beginning of May and has been under trial since then for existing mobile phone owners.

"The mobile service makes communication much easier to people in the township and the surrounding areas especially to where landlines never reaches such as the Kirakira airport terminal. Airline passengers can now easily contact Solomon Airlines in Honiara from the airport to find out about flight movements," said Mrs. Edith Hanuagi.

The company plans to extend its coverage to Lata in the Temotu Province and Kirakira in Makira Province and Buala in the Isabel Province.

Solomon Telekom is estimated by the Mobile World subscriber database to have ended Q1 '08 with just over 21,000 subscribers - representing a population penetration level of just 3.65%.

Digicel was granted a license in 2006, but Solomon Telekom successfully sued to block the network launch pending a review of its monopoly status - due sometime this year.

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