Fiber-Optic Lines Opened

Phone services through fiber-optic cable started Friday be­tween Cambodia and Thailand, officials said Sunday.

Lar Narath, a Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications undersecretary of state, said the Tele­phone Organization of Thailand and Cambodia’s counterpart on Friday signed the opening of the new operation, an alternative to the previous satellite international connection.

“It provides better connection and clear voices,” said another secretary of state, Long Van Han. “And we expect it would make the cost cheaper than the satellite operation.”

Using an $8 million grant from the German government, the Ministry of Posts and Tele­com­munications installed the fiber-optic cable from Poipet in Banteay Meanchey province through Phnom Penh to Bavet town in Svay Rieng province, about 610 km.

Remote switching units were placed along the way, officials said. The line has the capacity to handle 6,000 telephone conversations at once, they added.

Officials said the ministry intended to begin using a fiber optic link to Vietnam in early 2000. It also plans to install a fiber optic cable from Kompong Cham to Sihanoukville with another $5.3 million grant from Germany, officials said.


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