Alcatel, Institute Begin Technical Training

French telecommunications supplier Alcatel and the Institute of Technology of Cambodia will jointly provide a telecommunications technology course in Oc­tober, officials said Monday.

Representatives of the firm and the institute are today scheduled to sign an agreement for the new 32-week program.

The new program calls for specialized training for ITC students majoring in electronic engineering and technical staff of private phone operators and the Ministry of Telecommunications, according to the plan. French professors based in Malaysia will lecture on advanced mobile communications, high-speed Internet networks and new radio services.

“It’s good for ITC as well as good for Cambodia because it will develop the next engineers for the country’s development,” said Fernand Texier, director of the Institute of Technology.

Under the agreement, Alcatel will contribute $50,000 for staf­fing, equipment and scholarship funds. The French firm also will build multimedia stations on the campus for hands-on training. Twenty students will be selected for the first-year course, officials said Monday.

“As the major supplier [to fixed and mobile phone networks], we have responsibilities to help develop Cambodia’s telecommunications sector,” said Olivier Picard, vice president of the firm’s Southeast Asia office. “To develop Cambodia’s economy, you need to have reliable telecommunications networks and engineers to maintain such systems. We have decided to have a long-term” commitment.

Alcatel, which entered Cam­bodia’s telecommunications market in 1995, has been a leading supplier to the ministry’s fixed phone networks and MobiTel. Currently Alcatel supplies fiber optic cables to the ministry’s $9 million German-funded project and is providing advanced technology and network systems for MobiTel’s $63 million Cambo­dia up­grade and expansion.

Picard said his firm sees Cambodia as having good potential, especially for Internet development. “The future of telecommunications in Cambodia is promising,” he said.

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