Baghdad Telephone Network Switches, International Call Capability Restored Bechtel Reaches Major Milestones in Reconstruction of Iraq's

Telecommunications Sector



    BAGHDAD, Iraq, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Bechtel today announced the
 restoration of 12 telephone exchange sites in Baghdad, allowing the Iraqi
 Telephone and Post Company (ITPC) to bring 240,000 telephone lines back into
 operation. In addition, a new international satellite gateway, capable of
 handling all international calls placed from anywhere in the country, has been
 installed and integrated with the ITPC telephone switches in Baghdad. The work
 was performed as part of Bechtel's contract with the U.S. Agency for
 International Development (USAID) to repair key elements of Iraq's
 infrastructure.
     Before the conflict, 1.1 million Iraqis, half of those in Baghdad,
 subscribed to ITPC for landline telephone service. Twelve of the capital's
 switching centers were destroyed during the conflict, disrupting service to
 240,000 out of 520,000 telephone subscribers.
     The ITPC and Bechtel subcontractor Lucent Technologies installed 13 new
 switches; the ITPC and Bechtel subcontractor Globecomm installed the
 international gateway; and Bechtel managed the work. The switches and
 international gateway are connected to and being monitored and controlled from
 the new Network Operations Center at Al Mamoun, the largest telephone exchange
 site in the country.
     "This effort succeeded because of the strong partnership between Bechtel
 and its subcontractors and the ITPC," said Steve Beuby, Bechtel's project
 manager for telecommunications. "The work of the ITPC was truly remarkable."
 ITPC telephone exchange work included considerable site preparation; digging
 new cable ducts; splicing 1,800-pair and smaller cables; placing concrete
 slabs for equipment containers; and building security walls, fencing, and
 lighting installations. ITPC crews worked 24 hours a day for two- and three-
 day periods commissioning and integrating switches, and performed all cable
 splicing and wiring of main distribution frames. Tip cable splicing and
 connecting subscriber wiring to the switches continues.
     Bechtel also is restoring portions of the main 2,000-kilometer, north-
 south fiber optic backbone connecting Dahuk in the far north to Umm Qasr in
 the extreme south. Connectivity between all cities north and south of Baghdad
 will deliver voice and data communications needed to meet the country's
 immediate requirements and to foster future economic development.
     In support of the Coalition Provisional Authority's reconstruction effort
 in Iraq, Bechtel is under contract with USAID for the repair, rehabilitation,
 or reconstruction of vital elements of Iraq's infrastructure. This effort runs
 through 2005 and includes the repair and renovation of port facilities, power
 stations, telecommunications, water systems, rail, bridges, buildings, and
 airports. For more information on CPA, USAID, and Bechtel's reconstruction
 efforts in Iraq, please visit www.cpa-iraq.org, www.usaid.gov/iraq/, and
 www.bechtel.com/iraq.htm, respectively.
     Bechtel is one of the world's premier engineering-construction
 organizations. It provides technical, management, and directly related
 services to develop, finance, build, and operate installations for customers
 in a wide range of industries. To date, Bechtel has worked on more than 20,000
 projects in 140 countries on all seven continents. For more information about
 Bechtel and its projects worldwide, visit www.bechtel.com.
 
 

SOURCE Bechtel

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