Samoa Submarine Cable Company Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Delanoue and Bluesky Samoa’s Country Manager Alex Abraham
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 28 FEBRUARY 2018: Bluesky Samoa will commit to the Tui-Samoa Cable once their contract with an overseas provider runs out.
Bluesky Samoa’s Country Manager, Alex Abraham with Talamua today that their existing contract runs on for a few more years and they also have a satellite contract with an overseas company that expires by October this year.
“Our challenge is that we have existing contracts that have to run out before we can do this, so we are trying to work with our existing provider, the American Samoa Hawaii (ASH) Submarine Cable if they could help facilitate our connection with the Tui Cable,” explained Abraham.
Abraham said negotiations with the Tui Samoa Samoa Submarine Cable Company (SSCC) are in progress.
“Some of these things are big deals and it needs time to go through commercial arrangements and while this is all happening, we are also negotiating our technical requirements with SSCC to ensure that when we are ready to sign on the dotted line, we can connect immediately,” said Abraham.
He hopes that things would be settled sooner then perhaps sign on with the Tui-Samoa in the coming months.
Abraham could not disclose the company’s investment in Tui-Samoa Cable as are commercially sensitive.
“But for the cost, we are trying to bring the best price to the market,” he said.
“There are options for people who want to buy volume for a better price but when buying small capacity, you get a higher price,” he said.
“We build the roads you put certain cars on it, but only a few people can afford certain prices. It’s the same with phones. If you want more people to use the phones, you need to make the prices as low as possible,” said Abraham.
He also said Bluesky Samoa is in discussion with the Government regarding tariffs on the handsets.
“Tariffs on the handsets is 20%, so when everything land in Samoa, you have a cost of about 20% plus the 15% VAGST. So you have about 35% which is the added cost to the converted price,” he explained.
He also said that they buy phones in US currency.
“For instance, a phones costs US$50 and by the time it lands in Samoa, the price goes up to ST$120.
“We are aware of the pricing impact on customers and that is why we subsidise the phones to get the price right, otherwise, people won’t buy them,” Abraham said.