A Look at PITA’s 2019 AGM and Submarine Session

Ocean Specialists Inc (OSI) was in Fiji this month attending the Pacific Island Telecommunications Association (PITA) 23rd AGM (Annual General Meeting), which was held at the Shangri- La Resort and Spa from the 6th to the 12th of April.

The PITA AGM was well attended with 300 PITA members from over 40 countries from the US to China and the Pacific Islands in between. There were major speeches from GSMA on 5G development throughout the world and the coming changes in island telecommunications as a result of the new use cases. The conference focused on new Green Initiatives for Islands Telco, targeting power consumption and new ways of undertaking policies to support footprint reductions.

The Submarine session for PITA was a well-attended event with a packed room. What was scheduled to be a 90-minute session turned into 3 hours of engaging discussions, which covered subsea cable history, types of cables and configurations, financing, pricing, operations, maintenance, disaster recovery and future views of datacenters and cable landing stations modularity and convergence.

The session was led by our colleague Tony Mosley, OSI’s Director of Business Development, Alan Meredith of Southern Cross Next, and George Samisoni CEO of FINTEL. We were also fortunate to have John Hibbard of Hibbard Consulting in the audience assisting in fielding some of the questions.  During the session, there was a very lively discussion around the Tonga Cable cut and the actions undertaken by the TCC team to restore communications and get the repair ship inbound quickly.  The failure is believed to have been caused by an anchor drag across both the International cable connecting Fiji and the Domestic cable connecting Ha’apai and Vava’u. OSI closed the session with a briefing on C- Portal and provided everyone with the video link for services and how C-Portal might have helped Tonga if the offending ships were using AIS.

Overall a well-attended and successful Submarine Session, which was highly regarded by all that came to the meeting. The Session Photo shows the attendance filled with operators from FSM, Tonga, Australia, New Zealand, Cook Islands, Fiji, Hawaii, American Samoa, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea.