TELIKOM PNG PLANS MAJOR EXPANSION IN LAE

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, August 22) – Telikom PNG Limited says it regards Lae as a substantial part of its customer and revenue base.

As such, the company intends to undertake major developments to the services, on top of what is already being done.

That is from the chief executive officer David Waterhouse, when he addressed a joint luncheon of the PNG Business Council and Lae Chamber of Commerce in Lae yesterday.

In a power-point presentation at the Lae International Hotel, Mr Waterhouse said major projects that would benefit Lae and the surrounding areas included a digital radio link and a back up satellite link to Ramu Sugar, both of which have been completed.

Work has also started on a number of projects, including a new exchange at Milford Haven Road; relocation of the Taraka telephone exchange into Unitech and plans for new exchanges at Tent Siti and Malahang.

Discussions have also been advanced on resolving land issues for a new exchange at Eriku. Mr Waterhouse said work was also underway to extend the Optic Fibre network from Milford Haven Road exchange to Eriku, then to Taraka, Tent Siti, to Malahang and back into the Lae exchange.

He said the idea was to connect major business houses by Optic Fibre.

"We plan to connect Bubia exchange by Optic Fibre into Lae as a back up to the current radio link and rehabilitate the copper cable network around Chinatown and Cassowary Road and other parts of Lae," Mr Waterhouse said in the presentation.

Telikom also wants to create partnerships with youths at East Taraka and the other suburbs to ensure the cables and other infrastructure are not vandalised. It also plans to open business offices in Bulolo, Finschhafen and Gusap to bring services closer to its customers.

Mr Waterhouse said they were also working on the Lae - Kimbe upgrade to digital technology and also upgrade the telecommunication system to Mutzing. On mobile phone services, Mr Waterhouse said they have become "almost too popular", with the Mt Lunaman mobile phone exchange becoming the busiest site in the country. The Mt Lunaman site is equipped with eight radio transceivers to receive and transmit mobile calls. Originally able to carry 57 callers at any one time, the demand now means increasing the capacity to 117 calls at any one time, with an increase to 16 radio transceivers.

SMS text services would also be upgraded.

Other improvements to Lae services include doubling mobile capacity, new exchanges and fibre optic links for external network, improved Lae - Moresby link, and higher speed/lower cost for telephone, internet and data to Australia through new submarine cable.

August 22, 2006

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier: www.postcourier.com.pg/

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