It’s hard to believe that even in late 2009, there are still countries, full-fledged independent countries, that do not have mobile phone service.
That list got smaller this week as the Pacific island nation of Nauru finally got access to a GSM network.
Nauru, the world’s smallest fully independent country (and possibly strangest 20th century history), has a population of only about 10,000 who lived on a plot of mined-out land ringed by beaches over 40 square kilometers. The new network was built by Digicel, an Irish-founded, Jamaican-based mobile provider.
According to a company press release, President Marcus Stephen made the first call on the network at a press conference this week, saying: “We are thrilled to welcome Digicel to Nauru, offering Nauruans access to GSM mobile telecommunications for the first time.”
In celebration, President Stephen declared September 1, 2009 a holiday in his country.
The company is also giving away $10 AU (5.84€) worth of free credit on newly-purchased handsets.