Legislative framework refers to the laws that govern the telecommunications sector at large. It also established the regime where it allows competition and the establishment of the Regulator. These laws were made by the Parliament of the Republic of Vanuatu for the sector at large.
As the Vanuatu government is moving into the digital age it has become vital that the registration of SIM cards is fully implemented throughout the Republic of Vanuatu. Currently all the Service providers are providing value added service which means that they are providing a way to use their sim cards as a portal where they can transfer and receive money or pay bills or other services.
SIM card registration allows the state to know the identity of the owner of a SIM card, and thus who is most likely making a call or sending a message. As a condition for the purchase or activation of a SIM card, the user is asked to provide personal data as well as a valid ID. The mandatory registration and identification of all mobile phone users purchasing a pre-paid SIM card. With a pre-paid or 'pay as you go' SIM card, there is no reason to keep personal details.
Additionally, eSIM is a SIM card that is embedded in a mobile device and can connect you to any operator offering eSIM services. The eSIM works the same way as a traditional SIM card, but you don't need a physical SIM card to use it. More and more smartphones, tablets and laptops are equipped with an eSIM card.
The Bill is to amend the Telecommunications, Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulation Act No. 30 of 2009 (“the Act”) as amended by Amendment 22 of 2018, and the purpose of this amendment is for the regulatory role of Broadcasting and Media is fully transferred from Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation (VBTC) to the Telecommunications, Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR), and to give effect for establishment of any Broadcasting and Media Universal Access Policy (UAP) for Vanuatu, and to ensure fair competition in the Broadcasting Market.
The many islands comprising Vanuatu, the distances between them and the rough island terrain, make logistics and communications between and within islands very difficult and expensive. Access to information is often very limited for those living outside of the urban areas, and while improvements in internet access, mobile telephony and radio broadcasting are ongoing, there are still significant barriers to providing equitable access to connectivity, information sharing and infrastructure sharing.
The rollout of the Telecommunications coverage and broadcasting coverage on the other hand is equally important for the citizens of the country. As such, it is essential for the amendment of the current TRBR legislations to cater for the provision for any UAP in the broadcasting sector.
As you are aware the Government of Vanuatu (GoV) recently reviewed the operations of the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation (VBTC) and in particular the role of VBTC in regulating the broadcast industry. To facilitate this change the GoV, amended both the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications and Radiocommunications Regulation Act during the last session of parliament in July 2018.
This amendment created the Telecommunications, Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulations Act 30 2009 as amended by Amendment 22 2018. The amendment now provides for the TRBR to regulate the Telecommunications and Broadcasting industry.
The Telecommunications and Radiocommunications Regulation Act No. 30 of 2009 was enacted to give way to regulations and competitions in the telecommunications sector (“Sector”), after the government decides to end monopoly within the sector. It is an Act to establish a new regulatory framework for telecommunications, radiocommunications and for related purposes. It established the Telecommunications and Radiocommunications Regulator (“the Regulator”), its general powers and functions including other matters relating to the telecommunications sector of Vanuatu.
This is the first Telecommunications law enacted in 1989 where it gives all the powers to the Minister responsible for telecommunications to oversee the telecommunications sector of Vanuatu. It is an Act to make new provisions with respect to the operation and control of telecommunications services and for matters connected therewith for Vanuatu. Later, this Act was amended on various occasions (1993 and 2006) by the Government to reflect the trend of telecommunications within Vanuatu. All the Amendments were then consolidated in 2006, known as the “Telecommunications Act [Cap 206]. This Act is still in effect in its application.
After the Telecommunications Act was consolidated in 2006, it was further amended in 2007 and 2009 to make way for liberalization of the sector.