Mobile network operator (MNO) Vodafone Fiji has announced that it has upgraded its infrastructure with 4G+ and pre-5G technology as part of continuing efforts to bridge the digital divide in the country – in particular north Fiji. The Fiji Times reports that company regional CEO Pradeep Lal tabled a press conference to announce the FJD207 million (USD98.6 million) upgrade programme to help the MNO keep pace with demand for data from users, which has grown from 10TB to 400TB in the last two years. With smartphone penetration rates standing at 78% of users, Vodafone confirmed that at least 49 new 4G+ base stations will be commissioned in Vanua Levu and the high speed internet coverage will include Taveuni, Rabi and Laucala Island by the end of June 2019. Further, the cellco confirmed that upon completion roughly 50% of Fijians will be able to access a pre-5G service after the upgrade.

Vodafone Fiji also announced that as a further strand of the investment, it will complete the Savusavu Submarine Fibre Project which will enable high speed internet connection to Vanua Levu. ‘Whilst the landing station is Savusavu, Vodafone is setting up a high capacity transmission link between Savusavu to Labasa to bring high speed internet services to Labasa and the rest of Vanua Levu,’ Mr Lal confirmed.