Digicel Mobile Internet Service – Take Two

[This week’s Communications column for the Vanuatu Independent.]

This hand is more accustomed to holding a bush knife than an Internet-connected mobile phone. This week, Digicel Vanuatu officially unveiled their new GPRS mobile Internet service. Their first event was held on Thursday last week at the Port Vila market house. Digicel staff demonstrated their service to passers-by and helped those with compatible phones to activate the service.

The process is simple enough. Just call Digicel’s Customer Care centre at 123, then tell the service representative the brand and model of your mobile phone. (Salesperson Maureen George offered some sage advice on this count – if you’re not sure what model you’ve got, just tell the service rep what brand it is and how much you paid. The service rep will know which model you mean.)

If your phone supports GPRS, Digicel will enable your account for the Internet service free of charge. You will then be sent a message containing the proper setting for your phone. Just enter the PIN number (1234) and accept the updated configuration.

If your Digicel mobile isn’t on the list of phones for which Digicel provides automatic configuration, don’t despair. You can still use the service, but you’ll have to enter the configuration values yourself. It’s not too difficult, but if you’re feeling uncertain, you might want to find a helpful geek to lend a hand.

Remember, though: Whether your phone is supported or not, you still need to call Digicel Customer Care at 123 to get your account activated.

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Digicel Rolls out Mobile Internet Service

[This week’s Communications column for the Vanuatu Independent.]

Update for online readers: Digicel Vanuatu’s Manager for Commercial Operations did finally contact me, too late, alas, for the publication deadline, which had been pushed  forward this week to accommodate the Good Friday holiday. We had a thorough discussion, and he cleared up a few things that were left as question marks in the original column. I’ve updated the text below, and have tried to show what’s changed between the original version and this one. – DM

About 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday this week, an email hit the VIGNET mailing list, announcing that Digicel had rolled out its long-awaited mobile Internet service. Using radio waves to send data over the Internet, Digicel’s GPRS service significantly increases the value and flexibility of their services.

Charging rates cheaper than many in the US and Australia, Digicel have raised the bar in terms of customer expectations once again. Now, Digicel subscribers can send multimedia messages to one another or browse the web from their laptop or mobile phone. You can now take a photo with your camera and send it to a friend, send them a ring tone they like, read your email from your phone, or check out an important web page.

Sending photos from your phone may sound frivolous, but think about it for a second: Hubby is sent to pick up some baby products at the supermarket. Faced with a dizzying array of choices, he take a photo of one, sends it to his wife with the question, ‘Are these what you meant?’ Domestic harmony is well worth the expense.

A caveat before I go on: I’m composing this column less than 24 hours after the initial public roll-out, and Digicel management have yet to reply replied too late to my requests for information, so whatever information you find here is of necessity incomplete and possibly mistaken. Some of the information in the print version of this column is incomplete.

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