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04.06.2003 Regional News

Telephone services to be improved in Kumasi Metropolis

By gna
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Albert Kan-Dapaah, Minister of Communications, on Tuesday said a programme had been launched to increase the switching capacity to address telephone services in Kumasi.

The project comprises expansion of the Kumasi Alcatel from 5,000 lines to 40,000 lines, installation of a new Alcatel switch in Tanoso, the UST and Buokrom with 5,000 lines each.

Kan-Dapaah made this known in a statement he read in Parliament on recent problems the Ghana Telecom was experiencing with its telephone services in Kumasi and efforts being made to address them.

The Minister said when the projects were completed, the switching capacity in the Kumasi area would increase by 50,000 new lines, however, the Fetex switch which was being used currently was obsolete and would be taken out of operation upon the completion of the new installation.

By the end of the month, the work to move all the subscribers connected to the Fetex host switch to the new modules of the Alcatel switch would start and the net capacity increase would, therefore be 35,000 new lines.

Kan-Dapaah said a large number of subscribers experience missing dial tone no incoming calls during the day due to the overload of two subscriber line modules in the Alcatel switch that causes problems during the day and the overload of the Fetex switch that causes temporary absence of dial tone for all the subscribers.

He said the short-term benefit of the programme would be the normalisation of the telephone services in Kumasi and additionally the increased switching capacity that would enable Ghana Telecom to take on new subscribers. He said between 25,000 and 30,000 new subscribers in the Kumasi area would be connected with new switches by end of this year.

Kan-Dapaah said the other problem was that the public often experienced problems that sounded as noise, lack of connection and call drops in the international traffic calling from and to Ghana.

A lot of these calls are being terminated into the Ghana Telecom Network using the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, even though, the quality of service using the VoIP was not as good as that of the technology of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).

Kan-Dapaah said the other problems were the frequency interference in the PSTN where on some of the microwave links of Ghana Telecom, frequency interference had been detected and the synchronisation where some calls might be caused by slips because of the absence of correct timing in the terrestrial digital network.

Congestion within the PSTN also causes switch interruptions and, therefore, affects call quality. The Ministry of Communications was in constant touch with Ghana Telecom to ensure that these and other problems in the Telecom services are addressed and that corrective actions are speeded up.

Kan-Dapaah said the Ministry was also monitoring on-going activities to resolve the problems and said the Ministry was determined to ensure that quality service was restored and maintained at all times.

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