Lucent to begin rebuilding Iraqi telephone system

Lucent Technologies Inc. of Murray Hill, N.J., has been awarded a $25 million subcontract to begin rebuilding Iraq's landline telephone system.

The company will begin next month installing 13 central office switches, optical transport technology and network management systems for voice and high-speed data transmission, primarily in the Baghdad area.

Spokeswoman Mary Ward said the work is expected to take about six months.

The subcontract was awarded by Bechtel National Inc. of San Francisco, which has been given the job of rebuilding the Iraqi infrastructure by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

This is the first major communications infrastructure subcontract awarded in the Coalition Provisional Authority's rebuilding efforts.

Lucent's job will be to repair or replace large portions of the Iraqi Telephone and Post Company system, which before the war served more than 1 million customers. That infrastructure is concentrated primarily in Baghdad, where 240,000 out of 540,000 phone lines are out of service.

Equipment to be used includes 5ESS and 5ESS Very Compact Digital Exchange switches, Metropolis ADM Multiservice Mux, Navis network management systems and maintenance and service support.

As much as 80 percent of the work will be done by Iraqi workers and engineers. Lucent also will establish a training program for Iraqi personnel to enable transition of the rebuilt network to ITPC.

(Click to link to Lucent's Aug. 25 announcement)

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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