World VoIP NewsSTE contracts vendors to increase fixed line capacity by 920k linesSTE contracts vendors to increase fixed line capacity by 920k lines

STE contracts vendors to increase fixed line capacity by 920k lines

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The Syria Report online journal is carrying an unconfirmed story that four telecoms equipment manufacturers, including Ericsson and Siemens, have been contracted to expand the fixed line network of state-owned monopoly Syrian Telecommunications Establishment (STE).
As a result of the expansion works, the incumbent hopes to increase fixed line capacity by 920,000 lines. Syria is currently home to more than 3.7 million main lines in service, up from 1.68 million at the turn of the new millennium. However, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the absence of competition has contributed to a lack of investment in the Syrian incumbent’s PSTN in recent years. In May 2006 STE did award Intracom Telecom a EUR40.6 million (USD51.83 million) contract for the supply and installation of point-to-multipoint wireless access systems, as part of the country's 'Third Rural Telecom' project.

Then in February 2008 STE announced ambitious plans to invest upwards of USD1.5 billion over the next five years to expand its landline network to rural areas. However, the downturn in global financial markets in the latter part of 2008 was thought to have delayed STE’s plans and there have been no further announcements until this year. On 15 February STE selected Sofrecom to help modernise its network and facilitate the migration to a Next Generation Network (NGN). As a result of the latest equipment contract awards, STE hopes to boost its fixed line coverage to 100% of the population, by end-2013.

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