More Telephones in Aden [Archives:1998/37/Last Page]

September 14 1998

With a loan by the Government of Japan, work is now underway to expand and improve the Aden central telephone exchange. Improvements will extend to more than 50,000 telephone lines in the city and its outskirts.
Ridhwan Al-Saqqaf, Yemen Time Aden Bureau Chief, conducted the following brief interview with Eng. Ahmed Mohammed Nasser, General Director of the Ministry of Communications Office in Aden.
Q: Could you tell us more about this project to expand the Aden telephone exchange?
A: Work on this project, funded by the Japanese government and implemented by an Indian company with the help of Yemeni engineers and technicians, was started on May 27. It is planned that the project will be finished on March 3, 1999. There will be 50,000 telephone lines, which can be increased in the future, divided over the Maalla, Al-Mansoura, and Carter telephone exchanges.
The project cost is estimated at YR 3.7 billion. It will take care of a backlog of 27,232 telephone extension applications from 1979 to this year.
This is a vital project for Aden, Yemen’s economic and business capital. It is en essential part of the Free Zone’s infrastructure, and is expected to cover the communications needs of this zone for the next 10 years.
Q: What progress has been made so far in this project?
A: The project consists of three stages: internal works (instruments and equipment), external work (digging up ditches and laying down telephone cables), and the last stage which involves constructing special buildings to house the exchanges. About 80% of the work has been successfully completed.
Q: Are there any future plans for further expansions to the system?
A: Yes, there is the Dar Saad central telephone exchange at a cost of YR 24 million, and 3,000 lines will be expanded at a cost of YR 977 million.
Other projects include the Aden Free Zone telephone exchange, the glass-fiber cables for which have already been laid by Caltex. Yemen has also subscribed to the OXYGEN project at a cost of $15 million.
Q: Will this project help reduce telephone bills?
A: Yes, by 10%.
Q: What are the major difficulties faced by the Ministry of Communications Office in Aden?
A: The main difficulty is digging up ditches for telephone cables near people’s houses, which were haphazardly built without plan-ning permission.