Collaboration Key to Future of Telecommunications

4 MAY 2024 – The Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association (PITA) 28th Annual General Meeting (AGM), Business Forum and Expo wrapped up this week, attended by more than 250 delegates from the telecommunications industry from around the world. The event was hosted by Interchange and lasted four days, engaging Governments, regulators and the private sector in the sharing of experiences, challenges and solutions through new innovations.

“The Vanuatu Government is very grateful to have welcomed important industry players to our country to share common challenges and innovations to help us overcome them,” said Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office Cherol Ala. “Technology is fast moving and collaboration is the only solution for the Pacific Islands to move forward and keep up with the rest of the world.”

“This week, there was a tangible sense of community amongst a diverse group of backgrounds and nationalities, and we look forward to continued engagement as we welcome new innovations that will help develop Vanuatu, and improve the lives of every person on every island,” she said. One of the key challenges across the Pacific Islands is the high cost of infrastructure, especially with small populations dispersed across many islands and large distances. In times of natural disaster, telecommunications is often interrupted and can hinder the Government’s emergency response. The region also suffers from a general lack of resources and capabilities. Many sessions were held to highlight these critical emergency responses related to adverse weather conditions driving a more collaborative effort going forward with the operators.

“As a small developing island nation, we cannot hope to tackle the issues we face alone,” said Chairperson of Interchange, Jean Marie Duffau. “We need to work together to address common challenges, build our networks and markets, adapt regulations, and foster digital transformation and inclusion.”

Participants travelled from Trinidad and Tobago, China, Australia, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Cook Islands, United Kingdom, Japan, New Caledonia, Tahiti, United States and beyond. Some of the industry leaders that attended the event included Huawei, Bankai Group, Intelsat, Kacific, Vodafone, Telstra, SES, JSAT, Digicel, Alibaba, Amazon Web Services, Tata Communications, Starlink and many other operators who all connect to bring the customers of the Pacific their telecommunication services.