ArmenTel to Invest $65 Million in Digital Stations

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A new system of making telephone calls will be introduced in Armenia on September 1 to meet the international requiremen’s–ArmenTel Executive Director General Kiryakos Khristodoulidis said Tuesday at a press conference.

To make an international call–subscribers will have to dial 00 and thereafter the code of a given country and the number of a given subscriber. Calls in Yerevan and other regions of Armenia will be made after the "0 + regional code" pattern. Yerevan’s code is 2. Connection with a cellular telephone will be made by means of code 01.

1 will be added to the number of special services first: for example–the fire department can be contacted by dialing 1-01 and the police by dialing 1-02.

Khristodoulidis said that ArmenTel is already upgrading the country’s telephone network. The new system is both for digital systems and fiber optic lines.

A fiber optic cable has already been installed from Yerevan to Iran. Another project that is currently underway will connect the central part of Armenia with its northern regions. A fiber optic cable will run through Vanadzor–Stepanavan–Tashir and up to the regions that border Georgia. A cable will also connect Yerevan–Abovian–Sevan and Dilijan. Another will run through Vanadzor and Yerevan to Ashtarak–Armavir–Talin–Giumri–Spitak. The project to set up the cables reaching the border of Georgia will be completed in November. The other projects will be completed during the first quarter of 2000.

These cables will make it possible to connect all towns and adjacent villages to the international fiber optic system. It will be connected with the Black Sea system to the north–which will provide connection with the CIS countries and Europe; and the system that runs through Iran to the south.

Khristodoulidis also announced plans to launch the installation of 150,000 new digital numbers. The mounting of stations will start at the end of this year and will continue to March 2000. 102,000 of the numbers are designated for Yerevan–while the rest of the numbers will be used throughout the many villages in Armenia.

The cost of the program–including cables–stations–buildings–is $65 million.

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