Papua New Guinean mobile network operator bemobile’s future is said to have been secured, with local news source The National reporting that a share transfer has now been completed following which the Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) now holds 85% of the operator. Sundar Ramamurthy is understood to have been appointed as the company’s new chief executive, and commenting on the development an IPBC spokesperson was cited as saying that bemobile would resurrect the company by carrying out recruitment very soon to fill vacancies. ‘As the main shareholder of bemobile, [the] IPBC is appealing to the public to be prepared to re-activate their bemobile SIM cards and would like to thank all customers for trusting and staying with the telco,’ adding: ‘As bemobile is owned by the state, all Papua New Guineans will have the option to become shareholders in the company in the coming years.’ Further, the IPBC has reportedly given an order to Chinese vendor Huawei under which the latter will immediately upgrade some of bemobile’s existing equipment.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in August 2013 bemobile was said to be negotiating with the IPBC, a statutory corporation that holds a number of government-owned enterprises, with a view to the latter increasing its stake in the cellco. At that time bemobile’s chairman Syd Yates claimed that such a move would increase the level of investment and control in bemobile by the Papua New Guinean authorities.