Wallis-&-Futuna is made up of three main islands: Wallis, Futuna and Alofi, which have a total of 12,206 inhabitants (2013 census), with some 60% being under 20 years old. They have had a landline phone network and Internet access since 1997 (broadband installed in 2007), but do not have a mobile phone network. The current telecommunications network is interconnected with external and international satellite links operated by France Câble et Radio (FCR).
Consequently, the authorities’ aim with the MANUIA project is to install a 3G mobile phone network with a capacity to upgrade to 4G. It is operated by the Postal and Telecommunications Service (SPT).
The deployment of the mobile phone network requires installing a core radio, as well as local switching equipment on each of the three islands. The project has a target population coverage rate of 75% within 6 months after the opening of the network, which will increase to 90% of the population within two years. Main characteristics of the future mobile phone network:
- An independent network ensuring the availability of the local service in the event of a satellite cut-off, when a cyclone hits for example;
- A 3G network providing mobile phone and mobile broadband Internet access;
- A local management of subscribers and their billing, with the installation of a prepaid platform in Wallis.
This project will :
- Meet the needs of the population by providing it with access to a widely-available technology in the Pacific and around the world;
- Resolve the problems of isolation of some of the most remote areas; Increase the integration of the Territory into its regional environment, in particular its possibilities for communication between Wallis-&-Futuna and the outside in case of emergency;
- Develop the economic activity between the islands; Generate additional economic resources for the Territory via SPT.
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