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Lucent to Rebuild Iraq Communications Network

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., and MURRAY HILL, N.J., August 27 -- Bechtel National Inc. has awarded a $25 million subcontract to Lucent Technologies to carry out emergency repair and rehabilitation of the communications network in Iraq. Bechtel estimates that as much as 80 percent of the actual deployment work will be done by Iraqi workers and engineers.

This is the first major communications infrastructure subcontract Bechtel has awarded in Iraq. This project is part of rebuilding and reconstruction efforts by the Coalition Provisional Authority, the US temporary government of Iraq. Earlier this year, Bechtel was awarded a contract in a competitive bidding process by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to design, rehabilitate, upgrade and reconstruct Iraq's infrastructure, including emergency work on the country's communications system.

Prior to the conflict, approximately 1.1 million Iraqis subscribed to the Iraqi Telephone and Post Company (ITPC) for landline telephone service. Much of the communications network was centralized in Baghdad. In Baghdad, 240,000 out of 540,000 telephone lines are out of service. The Lucent subcontract is directed at restoring this service.

Lucent will provide 13 central office switches, advanced optical transport technology and network management systems designed for voice and high-speed data transmissions. Lucent Worldwide Services and Bechtel will work with ITPC personnel and local Iraqi contractors to install and deploy the switching units to bring the 240,000 lines back into service within ITPC's network serving Baghdad and the region around it.

"Lucent is honored to be part of the rebuilding of Iraq. An advanced, robust communications system is important to any country, and perhaps plays an even more vital role as a country rebuilds itself," said Phillip Rosenthall, president, Lucent Technologies Middle East and Africa. "As part of its first project in Iraq, Lucent will be supplying some of its most sophisticated voice and optical transmission systems as well as professional design and deployment services."

Lucent's solution includes 5ESS and 5ESS very compact digital exchange switches, the Lucent Metropolis ADM Multiservice Mux, Navis network management systems and Lucent Worldwide Services installation, deployment, operations and maintenance support. Deployment will begin next month.

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Aug 2003
CommunicationsNews & Features

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