Organised as a thank you to staff and key stakeholders, the well-attended event was to commemorate what TCI called the “New Experience” – the simultaneous launch of O3b’s satellite service and 3G.
Following drinks, the gathering heard speeches from key players and witnessed the presentation of gifts.
After TCI CEO Jules Maher paid tribute to his team for being the first in the world to bring O3b’s service online with what he says lived up to its slogan of being “fiber in the sky”, he then presented O3B and Huawei representatives with what he described as the traditional form of Cook Islands communication – the drum.
O3b’s Sydney representative John Turnbull was on hand to receive the TCI gift – and to give one in return.
He reiterated the message from O3b’s CEO Steve Collar, who said in a statement: “Bringing Telecom Cook Islands up as our first customer is an important moment in the history of O3b.
“Providing broadband connectivity to remote markets – effectively ‘connecting the unconnected’ – is about providing the broadest range of services where it has not been economical to do so in the past.”
After receiving his drum and presenting Jules Maher with a reciprocal gift, Huawei’s Mark Rackett also paid tribute to the skill of the TCI staff – something that had earlier been emphasised by Huawei New Zealand CEO, Jason Wu, in a statement.
He said it was an exciting project as he had seen firsthand the significant positive impact improvements to ICT infrastructure could bring.
“We are proud to partner with Telecom Cook Islands and have been very impressed with the skills and expertise of the local technicians.
“This network utilises Huawei’s SingleRAN technology which allows the 2G and 3G networks to operate seamlessly together, and provides future-proofing with easy upgrades to new technologies such as 4G and even 5G as it becomes available.”
Guests enjoyed a buffet meal that was followed by a performance from the Te Vara Nui cultural group and then the real party began.