The advancement of telephone service has made distance irrelevant in connecting people wherever they are. Communicating information through telephone has become easily accessible thanks to the continuous innovation we are witnessing in the technological era. Comprehending its vital impetus in speeding up development progress, the Eritrean Government especially, the Eritrean Telecommunications Services Corporation (Eri-tel) is gearing up to extend telephone service across the whole country. The expansion of mobile, landline and wireless phones have enabled citizens to save unnecessary wastage of time in relaying messages. Expanding telephone system is not the final objective though, as it demands constant upgrading with the new innovation. Shabait conducted an interview with Eng. Tekle Woldesellassie, Head of Commercial Division in Eri-tel, regarding the overall activities of the previous year.
What was the main task of Eri-tel in recent years?
Developing the infrastructure facilities, the first phase of Eri-tel plans was completely implemented in 2009. Last year served as a transitional period by evaluating the efficiency of the work accomplished the previous years to proceed to the next phase. Moreover, small-scale projects were executed and the expansion of base stations upgraded to the highest level. During the first phase, we changed switches with new ones, and transmission system centered in Asmara was distributed to other main towns in the country. In this manner, we laid conducive ground for future expansion of communication system. Moreover, we introduced ADSL data for internet purposes and network for monitoring clients. Through this, we managed to entertain more customers in 2010 through mobile, landline and wireless telephones.
Tell us more about the tasks implemented in 2010?
Base stations in the Central Region wereupgraded to reduce strong conjunction previously occurring in Asmara and similar work was carried out in other towns as well. Seven base stations were installed around Merhano, Tseadakristian, Bisha, Foro, Arba’te Asmara and Massawa, which would enhance the capacity to provide service for more clients. We have telecommunication building almost in every town.
What would the second phase include?
We would replace the 2G to 3G design to provide high-speed internet access, transmission of text and digitalized voice. Already 10 base stations were transferred to 3G and would accommodate future development. Eri-tel is striving to meet the universal service obligation approach that means every citizen in urban or rural area would get access to telephone service. Besides, since the telecommunication industry constantly updates its facilities, Eri-tel is engaged in offering training courses to employees to upgrade their knowledge.
What are some of Eri-Tel’s future work program this year?
We are conducting researches in western parts of the Southern region and other areas for further development of the telecommunication system. Preparations are underway to install fiber optics. The clarity of international calls are progressing from time to time in collaboration with other corporations.
Can we say that Eri-tel is achieving its goals?
I think the customers could say more on this, and the services being provided speak for themselves. We have accomplished various projects effectively. Nevertheless, we could not say that there aren’t any shortcomings that need to be addressed, in this respect our efforts would be further intensified to successfully execute the remaining tasks.