Sept 11, Port Moresby - It’s another busy day at the Koki market, here in the nation’s capital of Port Moresby. A betel nut seller reaches into his pocket and pulls out his mobile phone to make an urgent call.
“Send me some more supplies, I’m almost out. Send me one more bag,” he says before ending his call.
Five years ago this betel nut seller would have had to travel at least half an hour to get more supplies for his stall but now it takes only a phone call.
Over two million more people in PNG and the Pacific now have mobile phones
Since the introduction of mobile competition in October 2007, people in Papua New Guinea are able to own affordable mobile handsets and make cheaper calls for both business and personal use. In a country with rugged mountains and isolated islands, the mobile revolution has been embraced by ordinary Papua New Guineans. Over two million more people in PNG and the Pacific now have mobile phones compared to a decade ago.
“Before, whenever there was a death in the village, people had to travel long distances to the nearest government station or town to notify relatives in other provinces. But now we don’t have to because everyone has mobile phones and we can just call from the village,” said Mary, a housewife in Port Moresby who uses her mobile phone to get in touch with people in her village.