COMESA PLANS A SH18.4B PHONE SYSTEM TO LINK EASTERN AFRICA

Telecoms

Comesa is promoting the establishment of a regional telecommunications network. Comtel is meant to facilitate increased trade relations within the region. It is the outcome of a study on telecommunications network inter-connectivity and tariff harmonisation, carried out by Telia Swedtel on behalf of Comesa, with financing from the African Development Bank. The project cost is estimated at Sh18.4 billion (US$ 240 million).

According to a Comesa report entailing its development projects and programmes, Comtel will require a private telecommunications network linking national information and communication technology operators in the Eastern and Southern Africa region.

It will be built on the existing infrastructure where available, but in most cases, new transmission routes, employing a mix of fibre-optic cable and digital microwave infrastructure. Comtel will provide a high quality carrier system for regional traffic, and the report says users will be charged at competitive rates.

The Comtel project traverses the following countries; Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, D R Congo, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Nation