DR AMANDA H A WATSON
The Mobile Phone: The New Communication Drum of Papua New Guinea
This was the first large-scale, independent research project on mobile phones in Papua New Guinea (PNG). It focused on mobile telephony in rural communities of PNG during the early days of phone adoption in such places. The research was granted ethical approval by both Queensland University of Technology in Australia and Divine Word University in Papua New Guinea.
Mobile network coverage has expanded to rural areas of PNG since competition was introduced to the sector from July 1 2007. The research found that this expansion has been greeted with much enthusiasm by many people, particularly due to a greatly enhanced ability to have social contact with family members spread throughout PNG. Some negative concerns were expressed at the time of the service commencing, particularly associated with affordability and changes in social roles, communication patterns and relationships.