The Asia-Pacific region continues to experience extraordinary growth in the field of the Telecommunication/ICT sector. However, due to the vastness and diverse nature of the region spanning geography, culture, climate, and ethnicity among others, Asia Pacific countries are in different stages of development. In light of this, Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) plays a pivotal role in bringing equal representations and voices from every part of the region through various high-level events.
At the 2022 APT Policy and Regulatory Forum (PRF) meeting from 19-21 July 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand, attended by the Chief information officer of the Office of the Prime Minister Mr. Gerad Metsan, and the Regulator and Mr. Kalkoa Samson from the Office of the TRBR, Mr. Molitaviti was re-elected as one of the two Vice Chairs of APT PRF in accordance with the Working Methods of PRF. Mr. Molitaviti’s nomination was made by the Office of the Hon. Prime Minister, Hon. Bob Loughman Weibur, who is also the Minister responsible for Telecommunications/ICT in Vanuatu.
The APT Policy and Regulatory Forum (PRF) is an annual APT event where policymakers and regulatory authorities meet to discuss common Telecommunication/ICT policy and regulatory issues and challenges in the APT region. It also serves as an important platform for industry leaders to share their concerns and views in relation to policy and regulatory measures. This event is a high-level forum where important delegations from various Ministries and Regulatory Authorities from the region also deliberate on key regional issues. It also emphasizes on identifying mutual ground and collaborative approaches in addressing policy and regulatory challenges in the region.
The Forum also offers the opportunity to discuss economic and financial approaches to building sustainable ecosystem for 5G including regulatory implications and impacts of other emerging technologies on the economy and ICT landscape, Cyber Security, and rural connectivity and other matters relevant to telecommunications/ICT in the Asia Pacific region.
Also Elected at the APT PRF-22, the APT PRF Chair, Mr. Ilyas Ahmed who is the chief Executive of the Communications Authority of Maldives, and the other Vice Chair, Miss Thasawan Samorwong, Director of International Organizations Group, International Affairs Decision, Ministry of Digital Economy and Society of Thailand.
TRBR continues to commit to its obligations on the implementation of the Government’s Universal Access Policy (UAP).
On the 8th of July 2022, TRBR signed the 3rd Universal Access Policy (UAP) Undertaking Agreement with Digicel and Vodafone on the rollout of their network to the underserved and unserved areas. The COVID-19 situation has quite delayed the Operators commitments in the 2nd UAP Undertaking, however this has not stopped TRBR from progressing forward with the third Undertaking Agreement that will address the underserved and unserved areas that are yet to be covered.
Starting from the Torres Group to the southern Islands, TRBR has identified a total of 60 underserved and unserved areas during the 2020 Nationwide Coverage and Quality of Service Audit, and is spreading out these areas into phases, which are expected to be completed by 2024. Whilst Operators are erecting their towers at the identified locations, the sustainability of the towers remains a challenge, as Operators are not getting return on their investment, and quality of service is a matter to be improved as well at the network level.
These are some of the challenges that TRBR in collaboration with the Operators and support from the Government would be looking into going forward.
Friday 8thJuly 2022, was a milestone to see Regulator of Telecommunications, Radiocommunications and Broadcasting, Mr Brian Winji Molitaviti to sign the TRBR Tendering Guidelines and Procedures with the Chairman of the Central Tender Board (CTB) Mr Maki Simelum.
At the signing ceremony, Regulator Winji Molitaviti thanked Central Tender Board for the continuous support rendered to the Office of the TRBR and to initiate the signing between the two institutions.
TRBR is an Independent Government Institution regulated by the Act (TRBR Act) which under the Act, the Regulator has the executive power to regulate the Telecommunications, Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Sector in Vanuatu.”
“TRBR will work collaboratively with CTB to ensure processes of issuing tenders and or contracts are in accordance with TRBR Act and the Central Tender Board’s guidelines going forward and to ensure transparency and accountability is maintained” Regulator Winji Molitaviti said.
Chairman of the CTB, Mr Maki Simelum thanked the Regulator and the TRBR team for inviting the CTB for the signing. “
The primary mandate of CTB is to facilitate, adjudicate and award tenders for Central Government and any other institutions specified under the Act for the delivery of works, services and supplies related services for higher Procurement value of exceeding 10,000,000 Vatu.
The Vanuatu E-Commerce Symposium is well aligned with the Universal Postal Unions E-Commerce readiness roadmap, the Vanuatu e-Trade Strategy, the National ICT Policy and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) agenda for Internet of Things (IoT).
The COVID-19 has created a “new normal” in which E-Commerce has become the forefront of all trades.
The Office of the Telecommunications, Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR) is proud to sponsor Vanuatu’s first ever E-Commerce Symposium happening on the 8th and 9th of July 2021 at the National Convention Centre, Port Vila, Vanuatu.
Signing of sponsorship agreement between TRBR CEO Mr Brian Winji and Vanuatu Post CEO Vira Timbaci.
Vanuatu has been a member of the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT) since 2010. Through its membership, there are numerous trainings forums, meetings and Capacity building activities including the Policy and Regulatory Forum which Vanuatu through the office of the Telecommunications and Radiocommunications Regulator has been part of.
The APT Policy and Regulatory Forum (PRF) provides a platform where high level policy makers and regulators meet to discuss telecommunications and ICT policy regulatory issues that are common interest to the region. It is also a platform for the industry to bring issues of their concern to the attention of the regulators.