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Digicel News Release: Island Of Nauru Connects To The World With Launch Of Digicel WIMAX Broadband

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The Pacific island nation of Nauru, will today proudly take its place among the world’s elite, in terms of internet connectivity, with the launch of Digicel’s state-of-the-art WiMAX broadband service in partnership with the Nauru Government.

Digicel, the Pacific’s fastest growing mobile operator, has invested in an island-wide WiMAX broadband infrastructure – “DigiNet” which will offer 98% coverage and affordable and accessible packages for all.

The small island republic, with a population of just over 10,000, of whom 50% are under 20 years of age, will now have access to world-class broadband internet connectivity bringing immediate benefits to the daily lives of Nauruans through improved Government services, enhanced education resources, new business opportunities and greater interaction with the outside world.

The Government of Nauru, which has partnered with Digicel on the project, sees the launch of DigiNet as a major step forward in the country’s infrastructure – and central to its National Sustainable Development Strategy and achieving its Millennium Goals.  Government Departments will be among the first to adopt the system with plans in place for schools, hospitals and other Government Offices to connect.

Nauru’s President, His Excellency Marcus Stephen, said “The launch of Digicel’s broadband service is a very significant milestone for Nauru and our people. It will enable the country to take a major step forward in terms of our infrastructure and connectivity with the world. It will benefit our young people, our businesses and the population as a whole. Having world class internet access and connectivity will help Nauru continue to develop within the Pacific region and the wider world.”

Vanessa Slowey, Digicel Pacific CEO, said, “The launch of Digicel GSM services here in Nauru in September 2009 saw the country take huge strides in terms of its communications and connectivity. Today’s launch of DigiNet broadband takes that progress to another level making Nauru’s communications infrastructure among the best in the Pacific region. Recent research from CESifo* suggests that a 10% increase in broadband penetration can help to raise annual per capita GDP growth by 0.9 to 1.5 percentage points. With DigiNet broadband, we are making wireless broadband internet an easy-to-access, affordable reality and empowering Nauruan people to get the best out of the internet – whenever and however they want it.

“Digicel commends the Government on its foresight and ambition in making accessible broadband a priority and we look forward to continuing our partnership to bring further enhancements and innovation to Nauru”, Miss Slowey added.

The launch of “DigiNet” service will bring the total investment in Nauru’s telecoms infrastructure to 3 million USD.  In 2009, in partnership with the Government, Digicel introduced GSM mobile phone services to the island for the first time, which saw access to telecommunications jump from around 100 landlines to 6,000 Nauruans owning and using mobile phones.

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