PPL and Digicel launch new service
“This is an exciting time for us.”
Acting CEO Tony Koiri said this at the launching of a new Easipay system using the Digicel mobile phone network on May 13, 2009.
The Easipay Digicel vending system presents a new era in modern technology that PNG Power has embraced and Mr Koiri told staff, media and invited guests that PNG Power was striving to make electricity accessible to more of its customers.
He said the new service allowed customers, especially those in the rural areas, to easily access the Easipay service from anywhere by using their Digicel mobile phones.
“If you run out of Easipay units, you don’t have to wait for the vending shops to open but instead you can just pick up your Digicel phone and buy your units,” Mr Koiri said.
He said PNG Power was happy to partner Digicel in the new service and also acknowledged Data Nets’ CEO, Sundar Ramamurthy for their partnership in providing the technological platform for the new system.
Digicel CEO John Mangos also thanked all the teams that worked tirelessly to put up the system.
“It’s a first for Digicel anywhere, and I think it’s one of the first in the world that I’ve heard about where we use the combination of mobile phones and the power technology to bring a lot more functionality to customers,” he said.
Mr Mangos said Digicel were very proud to be involved in this initiative.
“It’s very simple to use, so wherever you are, 24 hours a day, you can top up your power meter,” he said.
Mr Mangos also added that the service was currently for prepaid customers but they were working on extending it to postpaid customers.
Acting Board Chairman Mr William Kenjibi said it was an historic occasion and the new service would align perfectly with PPL’s RE rollout program that would get more customers in rural areas connected.
Head of Data Nets Mr Ramamurthy said another key aspect was the fact that it was the first time a customer could actually use the mobile phone to buy something, apart from making a phone call.
“The aim is to build on this new technology and be able to use it to buy other things as well so this is just the first step,” Mr Ramamurthy said.
The new service is similar to Digicel’s credit me system and attracts a nominal fee of 75 toea per transaction.
Customers would need to have credits over K10 on their Digicel phones to be able to purchase Easipay units between K10 and K20.
The process to follow is to type *775*<meter number>*<amount># on the user’s mobile phone.
A message will be sent back to users asking for confirmation of their meter name and once confirmed, users receive their prepaid voucher number and transaction reference number.