The third telecommunications network for Tonga was launched on Friday 3rd September in Nuku’alofa. It is called WanTok Pacific Corporation (WPC), owned by the Toko Wireless (Tonga) company and WanTok Networks (Vanuatu).
The name Wantok literally means “same language” and speaks of brotherhood, sisterhood or “belonging together”. It is a Melanesian pidgin word used widely in Vanuatu, Solomons, and Papua New Guinea, in the same way the Tongan word “toko” is used locally.
“The new local mobile operator will be providing a full suite of additional telecom services to the kingdom,” Dennis Fuapau, Head of Commercial at Wantok Pacific Corporation in Tonga told guests at the launch.
The Minister of MEIDECC (the Regulator), Hon Poasi Tei was present, together with CEO Paula Ma’u. Fuapau said: “As the world changes, so do our communication needs. I am really pleased to be spearheading change for the Pacific’s communications landscape – at the helm of a Pacific Island owned business. As Pacific Islanders, communication is critical to us, we need to ensure we can stay in touch with family and friends, here and abroad. WanTok will make it even more cost effective for our people to stay in touch. Of this – I am really proud.”
As well as WanTok Mobile and WanTok Money, the new company launched its new broadband and brand identity for consumers and businesses. The services to follow will also include WanTok Beats (music) and WanTok Go (movies).
The new services are housed at the PTH business complex on Taufa’ahau Road.
The other two telecommunications companies operating in Tonga, TCC and Digicel, have been like a monopoly on telecommunications in the country for some years. WanTok promises to enter and provide services making up what it calls “gaps” in the telecommunications business.
Mobile services will not be dependent on a sim card system, like others, but on an app that will operate telecommunications and internet services. This can be obtained from www.wantokmobile.com.