Friday 11th March, 2005

 

TSTT to expand GSM network

Plans to send home more staff

 
 
 
 
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Tony Davy, director of Caribbean Sales Nortel Networks and Bernard Mitchell, TSTT’s chief operations officer signs the partnership agreement at TSTT House, Edward Street, Port of Spain yesterday.

Photo: Andre Alexander

BY ASHA JAVEED

Even as State-owned telecom provider TSTT announced plans to spend US$50 million to improve its GSM service to the country, it disclosed plans to send home more of its 3,500 staff.

At a press conference at TSTT’s Edward Street, Port-of-Spain head office yesterday, Bernard Mitchell, TSTT’s chief operations officer, said the company was over-staffed and was scrutinising every level of operation to identify possible lay-offs.

“As we enhance our operations and become more efficient as a company, we want to remind our customers that this in no way jeopardises the level of customer service we provide on a daily basis. There are a number of support areas which we recognise are overstaffed. We are in the process of trimming that staff,” Mitchell said.

In October, TSTT announced plans to reduce its workforce by 800 employees in an attempt to cut its operating cost when the market opens for competition.

On the heels of competition in the local market, the company has engaged Nortel Networks to expand and upgrade its GSM/GPRS wireless network and will spend more than US$50 million over the next two years.

Speaking at the news conference yesterday were Ian Joseph, TSTT’s vice president for Mobile Services and Tony Davy, director of Caribbean Sales Nortel Networks.

Nortel will deploy an EDGE (Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution) solution, which will boost capacity for TSTT and enable its subscribers to access a range of advanced, wireless services, including high-speed wireless Internet access, e-mail, corporate databases, m-commerce applications and multi-media messaging.

Mitchell said the company intended to do all in its power to remain the number one service provider in the country.

TSTT was also investing in a technology called R4.

“R4 will help TSTT’s network make more efficient use of capacity, combining and ‘switching’ all voice and data traffic over a single, intelligent infrastructure that recognises the different calls and how to handle each other,” Davy explained.

TSTT will add 100 new cell sites in 100 days to its existing infrastructure of 140.

©2004-2005 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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