TELECOMS

Telecoms News - In Brief

- Kenya Data Networks (KDN) has contracted Siemens to supply fibre optic equipment for its planned 1,140km network. The new network is expected to be the largest of its kind in the country, and KDN hopes to have completed it by the end of 2006. KDN launched services in July 2003, offering leased line, frame relay and IP data services.

- Harris Corporation, wireless equipment and services, last week announced that it has been selected by MTN Nigeria to provide microwave radios that will increase the capacity of the existing network—Y’hello Bahn—by 75 percent. Orders of $4.1 million have been received for MegaStar® 155 PX microwave radios that will augment what is already the largest wireless network backbone in Nigeria. Harris was tapped by MTN in 2004 to supply, design and implement the original Y’hello Bahn high-capacity GSM backbone, which today spans more than 4,500 kilometers and traverses more than 120 towns and villages. Under the new expansion, Harris Microwave Communications Division will supply its MegaStar 155 PX radios to augment the Harris MegaStar radios already in use for the Y'hello Bahn backbone. A key requirement of the new agreement is to counteract the difficult propagation conditions in various regions of Nigeria, such as wide variability related to temperature,humidity, geography and vegetation.

- Mobile services provider Vodacom and electronics group Reunert (RLO) on Thursday confirmed that a long-term and far-reaching agreement has been signed whereby Reunert's wholly-owned subsidiary, Nashua Mobile, will be a preferred Independent Service Provider to the Vodacom network for at least the next five years - with an option of a further 5 years - at "highly satisfactory" terms for both parties. The signing of this agreement follows the recent announcement by Vodacom and Altech of a similar agreement with Autopage cellular, a move which clearly signals Vodacom's intended strategy with regards to Independent Service Provision on its network.

- The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Programme Against Trafficking in West Africa (PATWA) have donated V-SAT and equipment worth N3.9 million to the National Agency for the prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to boost its activities in Nigeria.

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