The Landline Network operations manager ofSierraTel Brima Sesay has disclosed that 13,000 subscribers are out of service due to faults in the dilapidated Central Exchange.
He explained that previously there were six exchanges with three in the provinces but they were vandalized during the rebel incursion, adding that the ones which stood the test of time are worn out.
“The central exchange was installed in the 1990 with a capacity of 100,000 subscribers. h Units are in Cline Town, Wellington, Brookfields with a capacity of 3,000 subscribers each, except Aberdeen which has a 2,500 capacity,” he explained.
The Operations Manager revealed that the digital exchange was installed the same year as the one in Kenya; but complained that while Kenya has replaced their own we are still using ours.
He said that the deplorable state of the exchange was reported to the previous government, but the no action was taken.
“We advised the government that the exchange has aged and we do not have spare parts to maintain it, and this is a government company we cannot do otherwise because we do not have enough money to change the exchange,” he said.
Speaking about the present state of the exchange, he said that the exchange is outdated and the parts are no longer manufactured. “Our only option is to get second hand parts from Kenya in order to keep the exchange running,”
Although he could not give the estimated amount of revenue being lost due to poor operations of the exchange he also disclosed that the company now have a $ 29 million funding from the Indian Government.
“The loan has been approved and it is now being implemented.” he said.
He also explained that the funding will be used to overhaul the entire network system which will be replaced with the ‘Soft Switch’.
This is a new technology,” he said.
In the field of telecommunications, a telephone exchange or telephone switch is a system of electronic components that connects telephone calls.
A central exchange is the physical building used to house inside plant equipment including telephone switches, which make telephone calls “work” in the sense of making connections and relaying the speech information. By Ophaniel Gooding