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Lucent to rebuild communications network in Iraq

Bechtel National Inc. has awarded a US$25 million subcontract to Lucent Technologies to carry out emergency repair...

August 25, 2003  

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Bechtel National Inc. has awarded a US$25 million subcontract to Lucent Technologies to carry out emergency repair and rehabilitation of the communications network in Iraq.

The engineering construction firm estimates that as much as 80 per cent 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. The project is part of the Coalition Provisional Authority’s rebuilding and reconstruction efforts.

Earlier this year, the company was awarded a contract by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to design, rehabilitate, upgrade and reconstruct Iraq’s infrastructure, including emergency work on the country’s communications system.

“This is a milestone in the reconstruction effort being coordinated by the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq,” said Cliff Mumm, Bechtel’s Iraq program manager. “A reliable, flexible communications system is critical to virtually all of the work we are doing to rebuild Iraq.”

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 that city, 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.

In addition to rebuilding the network, Lucent will establish an aggressive program to train Iraqi personnel to enable the transition of the operations of the network to ITPC.

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