August 17, 2015 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Airtel’s Managing Director has said Sierra Leone deserves first class information and communications technology.
Speaking during a visit by Minister of Information and Communication, Alhaji Alpha Kanu, to the mobile giant’s newly constructed data centre site at Spur Road, in Freetown, Sudipto Chowdhury said Airtel’s vision was to deliver a new digital world to their customers in the country, with digitally capable world class voice and data network and the utmost technologically advanced network infrastructure and state of the art data centre, first technological e-data center in Sierra Leone.
He said to make the vision a reality, the company was undertaking a huge project which started in June 2014, to modernise and expand their network infrastructure to standards similar to technologically advanced countries in the world, adding that the total investment was approximately USD$10 million, with the centre being the first in Sierra Leone.
Mr. Chowdhury said the prefabricated data centre has an open floor space design that allows fully flexible placement of internal walls to create customised layout with a floor space that is 400sqm within a perimeter of 5000sqm.
The Airtel CEO said the size of the facility can easily be expanded as the modular solution is scalable and can be quickly increased in size when there is need for network capacity expansion, adding that most of the technical installation and testing was done in Sweden.
He said their five pillars of improving Network Quality are coverage expansion, as they now have 28 New Sites in the country; strong Partner Ecosystem; Data experience improvement – 31km Optical Fiber Cable; 3G/ Data Coverage expansion, in which they have 127 new 3G Sites; and modernisation of core Network – New e-Data center to ensure best customer service.
“We are deploying the latest technology to guarantee network availability, stability, redundancy and capacity as well as providing the foundation for new value added services for our customers, the facility is divided into 3 areas,” said Mr. Chowdhury
He said the company had done its best to perform their corporate social responsibility in the country, such as to complement efforts of government to ending the deadly Ebola virus disease.
Minister of Information and Communication, Alhaji Alpha Kanu said the initiative of Airtel was a good one as it would help complement efforts by government, especially in the area of telecommunication.
He commended Airtel’s management for their support as they have contributed greatly to the economy and called on them to open their doors for partnership.
“The richest job in the world today is Information and Communications Technology and as a government we are going to make sure we include computer in the school system and make sure it becomes a basic learning process for school going children,” he promised.