The shipment of the Australian Government funded six (6) mobile towers have finally arrived in country supplied by Powertec in Australia.
These 50 meter towers will be installed at the Solomon Islands borders including three in Shortland (Kariki, Nila, Kamaleai), one in North West Choiseul, one in Isabel (Kia), and another in Malaita outer islands (Pelau).
PHOTO: (L-R) STCL Board of Directors Chairman Mr. Baoro Koraua, Ms. Rebecca Lane, Acting First Secretary, Infrastructure DFAT, Australian High Commissioner, H.E. Dr Lachlan Strahan, Mrs. Christina Lasaqa, Chief Executive Officer STCL, Ms. Alison Purnell, Counselor, Economic Cooperation DFAT and Chief Technical Officer STCL, Mr Michael Palmer. In the back is the opened shipping container with the equipment for the towers.
Another shipment that will arrive early next year includes mobile equipment from Ericsson and other network products from NEC.
Our Telekom will commence contracting local contractors by November and civil works to commence in December 2022. The target is to get the six mobile sites operational by May 2023.
Our Telekom Board Chairman, Mr. Baoro Koraua expressing his gratitude on behalf of the Telekom Board, Management and Staff, during a brief handing over ceremony at Henderson said, “Our Telekom appreciates the Australian Government and its people for their support towards the funding of the six new towers. These infrastructures will provide much needed telecommunication connectivity around the border areas of the Solomon Islands, in particular the Shortland islands where we have only three mobile towers in place. From the Telekom perspective, this is a first of its kind from the government and the people of Australia and from a national perspective it is excellent for boarder protection around the Shortlands, Northwest Choiseul, Pelau and Kia. It is a big asset for the country and opens up communication to the people”
In response the Australian High Commissioner for Solomon Islands, Dr Lachlan Strahan said, “This grant from Australia is building stronger connectivity in Solomon Islands, especially in remote parts of the country. The six towers in four provinces will boost border security, facilitate traditional cross-border links with PNG, improve the ability to respond to natural disasters and empower local communities by providing greater access to business opportunities, health and education services.” “Australia provided Our Telekom with AUD6.5 million (SBD37.6 million) in December 2021 to fund the acquisition and installation of the towers, which will use Ericsson technology. Importantly, this funding package is debt free.”