Sierratel trumpets its CDMA roll-out as the way to 3G services

Telecoms

Sierra Leone Government-owned incumbent telco trumpeted its roll-out of CDMA as something that will enable the company to offer 3G services. "It has a short roll-out period and is more economical in rural areas," said Julius Kamara, Sierratel's director of commercial services. "Compared to GSM, CDMA needs fewer cell sites and is more efficient in the use of the frequency spectrum."

Sierratel's CDMA phones, which will be accessed through a wireless local loop network, operate through links rather than telephone wires, noted Sierratel Managing Director Alpha Sesay. According to Kamara, the CDMA system, called LeoneCell, will have a prepaid platform and this will be used to reduce Sierratel’s level of bad debts.

Installation of the new CDMA facilities will be completed in Freetown on Tuesday and in the provinces by Oct. 19, according to Sesay. Service is set for a November launch in Freetown and 14 other locations, including Bo, Kenema, Koidu, Lungi, Lunsar, Magburaka, Makeni, Moyamba, Njala, Port Loko and Segbwema. LeoneCell is based CDMA 2000 EVDO 1X.

IDG News Service