Docomo Pacific will be unveiling 10 bundle services that would integrate the company’s bread-and-butter telecommunications services and MCV Broadband’s cable TV services before the end of October.
James Nelson, Docomo Pacific’s general manager, announced this as one of the speakers of yesterday’s Rotary Club of Saipan meeting at the Hyatt Regency Saipan.
He said the bundle service proposal for Saipan is now going through the approval process.
Initially the company will offer what it calls Double Play and Triple Play bundle services. The former will have four plans for wireless and basic cable TV services while the latter has six plans with wireless, basic cable TV, and Internet services
“These bundle plans will result in savings to the consumer of 10 to 25 percent. We expect to launch within the next two weeks,” said Nelson.
He also told Rotary members that Docomo’s renovation of the second floor office space that used to house the Department of Public Works is almost 95 percent complete.
After network access is finished this week, Docomo offices will finally move to the second floor and the renovation of the first floor of the building along Middle Road in Gualo Rai will then commence. He expects the renovation of the first floor to be done by Oct. 22.
Docomo is also planning to open new locations at the Hafa Ada Supermarket and Joeten Supermarket to better serve its customers.
As for real-time cable TV programming, he reiterated what he told the Saipan Chamber of Commerce a couple of months back that the prohibitive cost of undersea fiber optics continues to be a hindrance in making it a reality. “At this time, it is not realistic to expect ‘real-time’ TV programming until the high cost of undersea fiber optics are addressed.”
He cited a January 2013 report by One Global Economy on the digital blueprint of the CNMI, which pointed out that the cables currently owned and operated by IT&E that link the CNMI to Guam are ample for the territory’s bandwidth needs.
“However, the issue remains that when all middle-mile connection points are owned and operated by a single entity, it creates a business chokepoint…the owner of the middle-mile connection has a monopoly over the market, and in order to gain a competitive advantage in last-mile delivery, it can charge downstream Internet service providers uncompetitive rates… It is the opinion of One Global Economy that this type of middle-mile monopoly may have led to market inefficiencies in CNMI,” Nelson quoted the report.
Nelson said the One Global Economy report recommended that the Commonwealth Public Utilities Commission request local Internet service providers, or ISPs, to disclose their total middle-mile capacity; the capacity they use for their own customers; the capacity they lease out to other companies; the price they charge for a leased line (i.e. DS3), and their cost of operating leased lines.
“We believe that the newly appointed members of the CPUC will take some action before the end of this year to remedy this situation,” he said.