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Mon 15 Mar 2004 04:00 AM

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Livingston supports Afghanistan's mobile upgrade

Network equipment rental firm, Livingston, has secured a deal with the Afghan Wireless Communications Company (AWCC) for the sale of RF & microwave test equipment.

Network equipment rental firm, Livingston, has secured a deal with the Afghan Wireless Communications Company (AWCC) for the sale of RF & microwave test equipment.

The deal includes US$500,000 worth of power meters, digital radio test sets, communications test sets and protocol analysers from suppliers such as Tektronix, Anritsu and Rhode & Schwarz.

The move, Livingston says, will provide the AWCC with cost-savings in employing the test equipment it needs to modernise the communications infrastructure in Afghanistan, particularly the country’s mobile network.

The AWCC is currently engaged in a project aimed at improving the quality of the country’s internal communications network that was destroyed by years of war.

“We required a wide range of test equipment from a variety of suppliers to support the network conversion and expansion project to transition from one vendor technology to another,” says Shawn McDowell, AWCC programme manager.

“The existing network has to be replaced to accommodate the rapid growth in new subscribers, and we wanted to work with a supplier who could offer independent product advice, source equipment from multiple suppliers and take care of the complicated paperwork to get the equipment into the country,” he adds.

The AWCC’s modernisation project comprises a new Mobile Switching Centre (MSC), high traffic capacity Base Transceiver Station (BTS), microwave backbone and billing platform.

In addition to some general purpose equipment, Livingston provided protocol analysers from Tektronix for monitoring network traffic, and power meters from Rhode and Schwarz — which along with Anritsu network analysers and Racal digital radio test sets, will be used for the installation and commissioning of GSM BTSs.

Moreover, in order to check the quality of the wireline communications used in the supporting infrastructure, Livingston supplied Acterna ANT-5 handheld SDH analysers.

The equipment supplied by Livingston will help AWCC to test the mobile network from the air interface right through to connectivity to the core network.

“The biggest problem faced by Livingston was the complex logistics and export control procedures required to ensure safe, secure delivery of the test equipment, on time and within budget,” says Bernard Ellett, Director of Livingston’s Global Division.

“As Afghanistan is covered by export control restrictions, we spent a great deal of time liaising with the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to ensure export regulations were adhered to,” he adds.

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