Blue-uniformed Telecom staff cheerfully lit candles on the cake and cheered as they were blown out by chief executive officer Jules Maher.
TCI was formed in 1991, and has seen various milestones such as introducing Kia Orana cards in 1998, prepaid credit for mobile phones in 2001 and dial-up internet for all outer islands in 2003. More recently, Telecom launched a new website last year, and visited the outer islands last month to improve mobile coverage.
On the list for the future is capped calls to more places around the world and a new Teleshop in Arorangi – which will be the fourth on Rarotonga.
Maher, who has been with the company four years, recently attended the launch of four satellites for Telecom’s upcoming O3b internet service, which it signed up for in 2010. Over the next few months, satellite equipment will be installed on islands in the southern group in preparation for the launch of four more satellites in September, with the aim to deliver cable-like internet everywhere in the Cooks.
Maher said the Cook Islands is a telecommunications leader in the Pacific, including being the first in the world to sign up for O3b.
“I think we have improved a lot. Internet prices are down and data is up. Credit has gone from lasting 45 days to lasting six months.”
Maher said Telecom has gradually improved internet capacity in preparation for the launch of O3b in the Cook Islands.
“We’ve tried to progressively improve, and as people use more (internet), our revenues don’t necessarily suffer.”
Telecom currently has 116 staff members, including 19 in the outer islands.