By Jane B. Mansaray……….
The Sierra Leone Telecommunications Company (SIERRATEL) yesterday officially launched its new landline communication network in the country.
In her opening remarks, the Chairman of Sierratel Board of Directors, Mrs. Alice Onomarke thanked the Government of Sierra Leone and the new management of Sierratel for taking communication to a higher level. She said the launching of the landline network service was a watershed moment in the history of telecommunication in Sierra Leone.
She encouraged the management team at Sierratel to continue the good work and bring back Sierratel to reflect few years back in the operation of telecommunications in the country.
Mrs. Onomarke added that the new Sierratel product will significantly change telecommunication service in Sierra Leone. She called on all Sierra Leoneans to desist from vandalising Sierratel cables but to embrace Sierratel in their service delivery.
In his keynote address, the expatriate Managing Director of Sierratel, Mr. Adel Taher expressed thanks and appreciation to the Government of Sierra Leone for giving him the opportunity to manage Sierratel on a management contract basis.
He said the launching of the new product is a proud day for Sierratel and Sierra Leone as it will go down in the history books as the day the only telecoms operator fully owned by the Government and people of Sierra Leone reaffirms its clear determination and desire to re-establish itself once again as the leading telecommunications company in the country.
Mr. Taher said that the company took the decision to formally launch the new landline network against the backdrop of an extremely challenging and unpredictable time in the history of Sierra Leone.
He said in this short time, Sierratel anticipates some challenges that recognized the launching of the new service in an atmosphere of uncertainty which he said will impact the demand and customer uptake.
He added that the landline network was initially started with a loan of $30 Million guaranteed by the Government of which almost 80% has been invested and a further $10 Million to be invested by the company of which $5 Million has already been spent.
Mr. Taher vowed that Sierratel will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Government and people of Sierra Leone and encouraged others out there to cone and do business in Sierra Leone as the country is open for business.
He said this singular achievement will significantly drive internet penetration not only in Freetown but also in the provinces. Sierratel has deployed a new technology which will leapfrog most of the countries in the sub region and delivers to all of us a convergent fixed and mobile service solution and comparable to only what he said Vodacom is offering in Ghana.
In his official launching statement, the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Mr. Theo Nicol said that the commercial launching of Sierratel ADSL fixed line service will present Sierratel with a unique differential in the market and significantly strengthen its overall value proposition to all segments- corporate and households.
He said the new service network marks a key milestone in the development of the telecoms infrastructure in Sierra Leone and effectively projects Sierra Leone into the first division of telecommunications capability in the region.
Sierratel through its landline network infrastructure can now ensure access to the internet at super-fast speeds at up to 5mbps enabling speedy access to applications such as video streaming, video conferencing, and social media applications such as face book, Skype and twitter. The landline network will also offer homes and businesses telephone services which he said will enable connectivity to all destinations and networks.
The new network service will be available in the whole of Freetown on the 1st November 2014, and later in the Provinces with 022. It is a prepaid service system.
By Jane B. Mansaray……….