Tonga Post has adopted a new system that claims to be able to give everybody in the world a unique three word address based on a computerised mapping system.

Launched in 2013, What3words uses a grid of the world made up of 57 trillion squares of three metres by three metres. Each square has been given a three-word English address. What3words has named the 17 trillion squares on land with three words in various other languages.

Home delivery in Tonga has been restricted to express mail in Nuku’alofa. Any other mail would be sent to centralised PO Boxes, with the recipient responsible for collection.

Tonga Post said this had resulted in high volumes of undelivered mail, which took up valuable space and incurred extra costs for Tonga Post.

What3words is being used in more than 170 countries. Tonga is the first country in the Pacific to adopt the system.

Homes and businesses can find their three word address via the free what3words app or online map site. Customers can then use the three word address to send and receive mail, and during the checkout process on e-commerce websites.

“With the amount of international mail and e-commerce rapidly rising, it is essential we have the delivery infrastructure in place to service our customers’ needs,” Tonga Post CEO Siosifa Pomana said.

“Given that the whole of Tonga already has pre-assigned three word addresses it means we can roll out our service immediately.”

Tonga Post is planning an expansive education campaign, including visiting customers’ homes, providing brochures, flyers and other informational material.

The main points

  • Tonga Post has adopted a new system that claims to be able to give everybody in the world a unique three word address based on a computerised mapping system.
  • Launched in 2013, What3words uses a grid of the world made up of 57 trillion squares of three metres by three metres.
  • Tonga is the first country in the Pacific to adopt the system.
  • Homes and businesses can find their three word address via the free what3words app or online map site.

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