The Addis Ababa University Signed On Saturday Agreements With Two Business Consortiums for the Third Phase AAU Net expansion.The expansion includes the supply, installation, configuration, testing and documentation of ICT infrastructure and services at the AAU.

The tender was floated in September 2005 and three consortia had participated. Of the three, the Symphony Group/Neuronet Plc/CoreNet Technologies Plc consortium won three components of the tender, that is the supply and installation of active devices at eight campuses of the university, supply of equipment and providing advanced technical training for AAU ICT department staff.

The Kenya-based Symphony Group, which is the prime bidder, together with its two local partners, Neuronet and CoreNet Technologies is expected to complete the project within six months at a cost of over a million dollars.

The existing network covers only three campuses (Main Campus, Technology Campus and Science Campus) providing network infrastructure service to the staff and students. The second phase of the project already under way will cover three more campuses namely Tikur Anbessa, Lideta and Debrezeit campuses and is going to be completed within two months time.

The third phase expansion project will add value to the existing net services at the university. The third phase expansion will have video conferencing features, state-of-the-art network and data center, IP telephony capability between campuses, Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN), enhanced bandwidth management, improved security and enhanced helpdesk services.

The project will cover eight operation centers, including main campus (Sidist Kilo), business campus, technology (North) campus, science campus, Tikur Ambessa (Medical School) Campus, Senga Tera campus (Commercial College), Debrezeit Campus (Veternary Medicine School) and Lideta campus (Technology South and Institute of Pathology).

The other component of the project, the supply and installation of Local Area Network (LAN) was awarded to the Business Connection/GCS-NCR consortium worth close to four million birr.

In addition to the eight campuses mentioned above, the LAN project will cover the Dental Health Center, Mass Media Institute, Yared School of Music, School of Fine Arts and Design, Zewditu Nursing School, Paulos Nursing School and Medical Laboratory School.

According to Dr. Ahmed Kelo, general manager of the NCR, his company is working with a South Africa based Business Connection for a long time. He said that the consortium had undertaken many projects before such as the woreda network project by Ministry of Capacity Building, Inland Revenue Authority and with Ethiopian Telecommunications.

The third phase AAU Net expansion project is expected to help the university to automate its services and operations such as enterprise resource planning automation services which include finance, human resource management, inventory and procurement. Other services like library automation, registrar automation and E-learning will greatly benefit from the expansion of the AAU Net services.

The Reporter