The Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA), in collaboration with its partners under the Universal Assess Fund, has completed the construction of the second Base Station in Gbarnga-Gbarquita, Bokomu District, Gbarpolu County.
The Base Station, which includes a telecommunication tower, a modern 7.3-meter satellite receiver and a 5kw solar module, will power communication services that include voice and 4G mobile broadband data services to towns within an eight-mile radius of Gbargba-Gborketa and adjacent towns in Bokomu District.
According to a release from the LTA, the towns to benefit have a population of close to eight thousand people who have received little or no service to mobile technology.
There is already excitement all over the town with people in the town, not only happy about the construction but are also assisting the contractors with the supply of water, crushed rocks and sand to enhance the construction.
The coordinator of the Project Implementation Unit of the Universal Assess Fund, James Lynch Monbo, said the installation of the facility will impact the economic lives of the people and will enable them have access to mobile money and other E-Commerce services.
The LTA release quotes Mr. Monbo as saying, business people who are doing mining, framers who are producing food crops and petty traders in the adjacent villages and towns will now be able to easily communicate and sell their products through mobile technology.
“The installation and construction of the Base Station falls under pillar two of the Pro Poor Addenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) which has to do with economic and jobs for the people”, Lynch Monbo stated.
The Community and the Universal Assess Fund also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for the management of the base Station at a special welcome ceremony held for the delegation and technical team from the LTA, Project Implementation Unit of UAF and the technical team from K-Net Ghana.
Speaking after the ceremony, Gbarpolu County Development Superintendent, Joseph Akoi, said they are excited that such telecommunications infrastructure has come to that part of the country. Superintendent Akoi expressed sentiments that the poor agenda is now in full effect and will soon begin to impact the people of his county.
He said he is excited because after the installation teachers and civil servants will now begin to get their salaries through mobile money services; health workers will now begin to effectively contact their colleagues when performing operations and putting in for needed drugs through mobile communication.
“The town, 10 years ago, had no motor car road, today it is about to see a modern communication tower go live; trade is set to increase and the economic lives of our people will see a new turn around”, Superintendent Akoi stated.
He paid special homage to Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill, who had informed him about plans to have the tower installed in the county.
The Universal Assess Fund’s Coordinator, Elijah Glay, said the fund is a program set up by the telecommunications act to provide services into areas where service providers have failed to provide services due to economic reasons.
Mr. Glay disclosed the LTA and its partners decided to select two areas — one unserved and one underserved — for the pilot phase of the project. He named Parluken in Grand Kru as the unserved area while Gbrangba-Gborketa in Gbarpolu is the underserved area.
The projects are part of the ITC for Development Program by the LTA and its partners. “The LTA and its partners are very happy to impact the lives of the Liberian people because this is what the LTA was established to do through the development of telecommunications infrastructure in the country contrary to public perception that LTA is to only collect revenue for government”, Glay revealed.
The Base Stations in both Grand Kru and Gbarpolu are expected to come into full operations in the next three weeks through test transmissions that will run for eight weeks.
It will be followed by a formal commissioning ceremony and then new contracts will be signed to expand the project to remaining thirteen counties of Liberia.