Angola: Expansion and upgrade of telecommunications network in eastern region to finish 2010

22 January 2009

Luanda, Angola, 22 Jan – The project to expand and modernize fixed phone networks in the provinces of Malanje, Zaire, Bie, Moxico, Cuando Cubango, Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul provinces will be completed in 2010, an Angola Telecom executive said Tuesday.

António Briffel Neto, an Angola Telecom board member, told state news agency Angop that the telecommunications upgrade in the east of the country, originally scheduled to have been completed in March 2009, will now be concluded in 2010 owing to various obstacles related to minefields in work sites.

Other factors that have delayed the project have been slow customs clearance of Chinese equipment and heavy rainfall in areas with difficult accesses, he added.

The project involves installation of new copper and wireless networks and 3,276 kilometers of fiber optic cable and 6,000 telephone lines. Some 1,392 VSAT lines are also being installed, along with 761 ADSL links and 13,000 CDMA fixed lines.

Neto said it is expected the Soyo and Tomboco regions of Zaire province will have fiber optic networks connected by March this year due to cable routes being cleared of land mines.

The project to extend Angola’s eastern telecommunications system is costing the state US$ 102 million and the work is being carried out by Chinese state company ZTE.

The Angola Telecom manager said it is forecast that 1 million wireless fixed lines will be installed in the next four years. This technology is particularly suited to Angola’s geographic characteristics and brings many advantages to customers.

State owned Angola Telecom controls the county’s basic telephone network and provides services to other fixed and mobile operators. (macauhub)