Australia is pleased to unveil a significant milestone in their ongoing collaboration with Our Telekom as part of their collective endeavor to enhance telecommunications services in the Solomon Islands. The successful airfreighting of crucial hybrid power systems from the United States to the Solomon Islands for six new telecommunications towers along the western border both signifies the strength of their partnership but also marks a pivotal moment in their journey.
During an event on 20 October 2023, Australia handed over the hybrid power equipment to Our Telekom for the ongoing construction of six towers in Vadede in Choiseul, Kariki, Kamaleai, and Nila in Shortland, Kia in Isabel, and Pelau in Malaita Outer Islands, underscoring the practical implementation of their shared vision for improved connectivity and communication infrastructure across the Solomon Islands.
Australia and Our Telekom have come together with a shared vision to extend the reach and quality of mobile services, particularly in remote and underserved communities across the Solomon Islands. These efforts are part of an ambitious project aimed at establishing six new 3G/4G mobile sites, ensuring improved connectivity and communication infrastructure for the people of the region.
Mr. Michael Palmer, Chief Technical Officer of Our Telekom, on receiving the equipment shared his insights on this milestone, stating, "The delivery of these hybrid power systems is a significant milestone for Our Telekom in the construction of the six DFAT funded towers. These systems, once installed, will help to finally complete and bring into operation these six towers – which will certainly improve the reach and quality of our mobile services, especially to our remote communities across the Solomon Islands. We look forward to working closely with DFAT in the successful completion of this project, and to continue this partnership for future projects."
Mr Craig Gillies, Counsellor Infrastructure and Development Operations at the Australian High Commission, also commented on the project, saying, "Australia is proud to be Solomon Islands’ numbawan infrastructure partner, having committed over SBD5 billion since 2019. Our Telekom is one of our key partners under the Solomon Islands Australia Economic Partnership which has a shared goal to make sure more communities are connected and have access to all the opportunities which that will bring. Australia is pleased to support the procurement and transport of these hybrid power systems to support the six towers to be constructed in the western part of Solomon Islands.”
The hybrid power systems, combining solar and generator technology, are set to improve telecommunications in the Solomon Islands, providing uninterrupted power supply to the six mobile sites, even in remote and off-grid locations.
One of the most remarkable aspects of this venture was the journey that the equipment took to reach its destination. With the assistance of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the equipment was airfreighted directly from the United States to Australia, and after a one-week interval, was airfreighted to its final destination in Honiara, Solomon Islands. This journey involved careful planning, coordination, and cooperation between multiple agencies and countries to ensure the safe and efficient transport of these critical components.
Now, upon arrival, Our Telekom will take the lead in the distribution and installation of this vital equipment at the designated sites. This marks a significant milestone in the project's progress, highlighting the close collaboration between Australia and Our Telekom and the dedication of all parties involved in ensuring the success of this transformative initiative.
Our Telekom expresses its gratitude to the Australian Government and the Royal Australian Air Force. With the delivery of this vital equipment, we move one step closer to enhancing connectivity, fostering economic development, and improving the quality of life for the people of the Solomon Islands.
Our Telekom and Australia is committed to providing regular updates on the progress of this project, and we look forward to celebrating the successful installation and operation of these hybrid power systems in the near future.
About Our Telekom:
Solomon Telekom Company Limited (Our Telekom) is a local private company with majority shareholding by Solomon Islands National Provident Fund, (SINPF) which holds 97.32% of the shares, and the Investment Corporation of the Solomon Islands (ICSI) which owns 2.68% of the shares.
Our Telekom is a full-service provider with the largest mobile footprint in the Solomon Islands. Services include; Mobile 2G/3G/4G LTE, Fixed lines, VDSL & GPON, Wired/Wireless Broadband, FTTP, IPVPN, Domain & email provisioning, DR facilities management, Co-location, IT desktop services, IPLC services, Television services, and VOD services.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is the department of the Australian federal government responsible for foreign policy and relations, international aid, consular services and trade and investment.