Batelco sets up GSM network in Baghdad
Baghdad's first private GSM mobile phone network is being introduced by the Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco). The system serves Baghdad and the greater Baghdad area. Batelco worked to fill the void in communication in the country by installing a network at a cost approaching five million dollars.
The current system will be expanded to a capacity of one billion phones from its current capacity of 10,000 phones, stated a press release.
"Damage incurred during the war has left virtually no phone service available in Baghdad. The introduction of a private GSM system allows local Iraqis as well as aid workers and foreign investors to communicate freely and easily", said Batelco Regional Operations Manager, Rashid Senan. "Batelco and the government of Bahrain understand this communication capability is an essential contribution in the development of Iraq before formal licences can be processed,” he added. “Batelco will seek official licensing as soon as a licensing authority is established in Iraq."
The system itself uses the latest technology and runs on a back-up electrical system to avoid using limited electrical resources from the main Iraqi power grid. Additionally, the system provides international roaming, international calling, caller identification, call waiting, voicemail, and a short messaging system (SMS).
"As well as security, a modern communication system will serve as a vital tool in the reconstruction of Iraq – especially for municipal work and investment. Electrical crews, for example, will now be able to freely communicate with different teams along the power grid to help restore Baghdad's fragile electrical system. Businesses will also be able to maintain control and efficiency of its operations, previously a next to impossible task."
Batelco was established in 1981 as a Bahraini shareholding company. Cable & Wireless UK owns 20 percent of Batelco and enjoys a strong association with Batelco by providing support, advice and assistance. In addition to the GSM network in Baghdad, Batelco phones will be distributed free of charge to police, fire and ambulance crews. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)