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Pg

Basics Edit

Papua New Guinea has 3 mobile operators:

  • Digicel PNG
  • bmobile-Vodafone
  • Telikom PNG (3G, 4G/LTE-only)

With Digicel and bmobile 2G and 3G is on 900 MHz only. Digicel started 4G/LTE in Port Moresby on 700 MHz (band 28) in 2014. Digicel has the best coverage and more customers in the country. Since 2014 bmobile has teamed up with Vodafone to improve their network.

PNG’s fixed line incumbent operator Telikom PNG used to run a GSM-incompatible CDMA network under the brand of Citifone. It's now decommissioning their old network and moving over all its customers to a new 3G and 4G/LTE network.

The Government of PNG plans the two telcos under its control - bmobile and Telikom - to merge in 2018, but faces some resistance.

Registration Edit

In 2016 mandatory SIM card registration started in PNG. It began in April 2016 and within 18 months, everyone who has a SIM card was required register their names, photographs, address and occupation or have their line disconnected. This deadline was late extended to late January 2018.

All operators started the registration process for all new and existing customers’ SIM cards. The process is currently carried out manually, but registration software is under development which will include upgrades from a semi-automated system to a fully automated system, enabling customers to register online. The operators are also working on a solution that will see more registration outlets open up in the coming months across the country. They have urged customers to register their SIM cards to avoid deactivation.

Digicel PNGEdit

Digicel

Digicel is the market leader in PNG with the best coverage in the country: coverage map, but sometimes low speeds due to congestion. 4G/LTE has started in Port Moresby and Lae on band 28 (700 MHz).

Availability Edit

Prepaid SIM cards are sold in their shops nationwide (locator) for a few K.

Top-ups can be made online on their website by credit card or using vouchers called Flex Cards: K3, K5 and K10 give 30 days, K20 and K50 90 days and K100 120 days of service validity.

Check balance by *120#.

Data feature packs Edit

Out-of-bundle rate (pay as you go) is K 0.49 per MB.

They have a huge array of different packages offered for data on 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE:

Data Validity
Volume 1 day 3 days 7 days 30 days
60 MB K 3 K 4.5 K 6 n./a.
150 MB n./a, K 8 K 10 n./a.
400 MB K 12 K 15 K 20 K 35
1.2 GB K 25 K 35 K 42 K 68
2.5 GB K 40 K 57 n./a. K 110
6 GB K 85 n./a. K 135 K 230
13 GB n./a. n./a. n./a. K 450

For activation type *777# and select package. Plans automatically renew when there is sufficient credit. Subscriber can stop auto-renew of plan by dialing *777# and select the opt-out option. Unused data rolls over if customer purchases the same plan.

These short-time passes are sold too:

  • for 60 minutes - 250 MB: K 3
  • for 3 hours - 1 GB: K 10

These night plans are valid only from midnight to 5am:

  • 500 MB: K 4
  • 1.2 GB: K 6

These social plans are offered and include unlimited Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but no other apps:

  • for 24 hours: K 3
  • for 7 days: K 20
  • for 30 days: K 70

In 2017 "Best Data Plans" were released in addition:

  • 150 MB + 150 MB for Facebook for 1 day: K 6
  • 2.4 GB for 7 days: K 42
  • 5 GB for 30 days: K 100

These Best plans include zero-rated WhatsApp Calling (incl. VoIP) and need to be activated by *675#

For all bundles mentioned above: Access to certain websites generating high video steaming traffic will be charged at K1 per MB and all VoIP calls will be charged at a rate of K1 per MB.

More infoEdit

bmobile-Vodafone Edit

Bmobile

Bmobile teamed up in 2014 with Vodafone to improve its network. It has brought 3G to new locations, but still lacks the overall coverage of Digicel (for coverage check 'national coverage' in FAQ).

In 2017 a merger with local fixed line incumbent Telikom PNG was approved by the Government, but not processed so far. Both networks stay separate for now.

Availability Edit

You can get their SIM card at their shops (store locations) and resellers (reseller_list) for K5 with K1 preloaded as credit. Dial 1250 to activate your SIM card.

Top-up cards are called "TopKad" for K3, K5, K7, K10, K20, K50 and K100. They are sold nationwide and give a validity of 14-120 days. To top-up by card, enter *121<voucher number>#.

Check balance by *120#.

Data feature packs Edit

Default data is at K 0.30 per MB. These packages are available:

Validity Volume Price
24 hours 50 MB K 4
3 days 70 MB K 5
7 days 150 MB K 10
14 days 350 MB K 20
14 days 650 MB K 30
30 days 1.5 GB K 80
30 days 5 GB K 225
30 days 10 GB K 375

To subscribe to any of the data bundles, dial *777# on your phone to display the list and choose your option. You can subscribe to a combination of the various data bundle offerings. Validity period will extend to the plan with the longest validity. Overuse will be charged at the default rate.

More info Edit

Telikom PNG (3G, 4G-only) Edit

Telikom1

In 2017 the state-owned incumbent provider and landline monopolist Telikom started to switch off their old CDMA network called Citifon which was not compatible to GSM devices. They only build up a 3G network on 850 MHz (band 5) and 4G/LTE on 1800 MHz (band 3).

LTE coverage was introduced in 2017 to Port Moresby, Kerema, Lae, Madang and Arawa (see coverage map). More areas are to follow in 2018. There is no fallback to 2G so far, but this may change when a planned merger will go through.

The Government of PNG plans to merge Telikom PNG with bemobile-Vodafone. This faces some opposition by their employees and their networks are not merged so far. Due to its limited coverage Telikom can't be recommended for travellers, but may be an option for stationary use, when you are covered, as their prices are low and 4G speeds of 13 Mbps were reported.

Telikom2

Availability Edit

For a new LTE SIM card which will cost you about K20, you will need to go into an office (store locator) and show a photo ID and fill out a form.

Top-ups are made by refill cards sold locally or online by credit card. If you use refill cards, enter *121*<voucher PIN>#. When you top up with large amounts of kina you get bonus data but it’s hardly worth mentioning as it is max 250 MB with 2 day expiry.

For activation put the SIM in your phone, wait about 2 minutes and call 1500. After activation, go to https://sc.telikompng.com.pg/login and login with your phone number (written on the SIM packaging) and default password 123456. Immediately change your password as anyone can access you account in the time between activation and changing your password.

Credit stays valid for 3 months. Check balance by *120#.

Data feature packages Edit

Default rate without packages is supposed to be very high, but not published. So better buy one of their data packages instead:

Data Time Price Activation
60 MB 3 days K 2 *123*2#
100 MB 5 days K 3 *123*3#
200 MB 7 days K 5 *123*5#
400 MB 14 days K 9 *123*9#
600 MB 21 days K 15 *123*15#
1 GB 14 days K 25 *123*25#
2 GB K 40 *123*40#
3 GB K 60 *123*60#
5 GB K 90 *123*90#
7 GB K 125 *123*125#

More info Edit