Telecommunications can be very unreliable and in the more remote parts of the country a working telephone line is pretty rare. Dialling out of PNG can also be problematic as the limited number of international lines fill quickly.
PNG has different police emergency numbers for each city. They’re all listed on the inside cover of the phone book.
There are no area codes in PNG.
Some useful numbers:
Country code 675
Dialling outside PNG 00
International directory assistance 345 6789
PNG directory assistance 345 6789
Kwik piksa leta (fax) remains pretty big in PNG, where email is still in its infancy. You can send faxes from post offices for a few kina and they can be a useful way of making accommodation bookings. The cost of sending a fax from a post office within PNG is K6 for one page, with each additional page costing a further K1.
- Almost everyone in PNG has a mobile phone, often two; one from each of the two mobile phone companies Digicel (www.digicelpng.com) and B-Mobile-Vodaphone (www.bmobile.com.pg). SIM cards (K7 to K25) and prepay top-up cards (from K2) are readily available and basic handsets start at K49.
- Off-peak calls cost K0.25 per minute and peak time (6am to 7pm) calls cost K0.50 per minute.
- Considering the mountainous terrain, mobile phone coverage is fairly good and continuously improving.
Phonecards & Telikad
Most PNG cities have phonecard public phones, but people rarely buy a phonecard that needs to be inserted into a phone. More useful is the Telikad, which is available in K5, K10, K20 and K50 denominations.
Telikads are widely available and easy to use. Just dial 123 from any fixed-line phone, including any public phone, then ‘1’ for English, and follow the voice prompts to enter your 12-digit code and the number you’re calling.
There are two functioning networks: Iridium (www.iridium.com), which is worldwide and uses a Motorola phone; and Aces (www.acesinternational.com), which only covers parts of Asia and uses Ericsson phones. Aces is a fair bit cheaper, but less reliable.