Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chime assures operators on security of facilities

Executive Governor of Enugu State, Chief Sullivan Chime has assured telecommunications operators of the security of their installations in the state.

Speaking at the recent commissioning of the Mobile Soft Switch (MSS) by Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), Celtel Nigeria in Ugwuaji-Enugu, Gov. Chime said that he was delighted to be commissioning the switch centre.

He commended the management of Celtel for finding Enugu worthy to locate the centre and promised that the state government in collaboration with the Nigeria Police would ensure that the security of the facilities remain intact for the benefit of the subscribers in the state.

He also recalled that recently Globacom commissioned its fibre optic ring centre in Enugu, which he had the honour of performing the task.

Chime reiterated the resolve of his administration to encourage telecom operators to come to the state for investment.

Gov. Chime later cut the tape to commission the centre.

Also speaking to Champion Infotel, the Information Commissioner for Enugu State, Mr. Chucks Ugwuoke, equally lauded Celtel for situating the switch in the coal city.
For him, the various commissioning by telecom operators in the state is an indication that Enugu State is conducive for investors.

According to him, a lot of infrastructure are being put in place to make certain that any investor who finds his or her way to the coal city would have course to rejoice.

For instance, he said, that the recent upgrading of Akanu Ibiam Airport in Enugu to an International airport grade, even as the airport road in Enugu is under construction among other road networks in the state.

For the chief operating officer (COO), Celtel Nigeria, Mr. Lars Stork, said that the company spent $6m on the project.

Mr. Lars also said that Celtel is not assuming that all is well with the poor quality of service that customers have to face in recent times, thus the need to build the switch centre, especially for the south eastern.

Lars further disclosed that the switch centre cost Celtel an estimated $6 million, pointing out that the telco has earmarked $1 billion for network expansion this year.

Hence the award of 4000 kilometres (km) fibre optic transmission backbone project to Nokia Siemens Network (NSN), stressing that it’s the widest in the country and would be completed next year.

“The project is progressing rapidly and will be completed by mid 2009,” he said.
Lars emphasized that Celtel is also expanding the existing 3000km microwave transmission backbone to 5,000 km.

While work is almost completed in the fibre optic connecting other parts of the south east states, he said, that other parts of the country covered would include Port Harcourt , Enugu, Asaba, Lagos and Abuja.

Equally, he said that Celtel has since mid last year embarked on massive generator swap out and dualization, explaining that the project completed 100 per cent in the Lagos region is on going in other regions of the country.

“By the end of this year, we shall have within our network a total of 6,200 power generators to take care of the challenges of power supply,” he said.

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