By Joseph S. Margai & Maada Foday Swaray
Sierra Leone Telecommunications Company (Sierratel) has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NuRAN Wireless Inc., thereby intensifying the company’s efforts to change its outdated technology.
NuRAN Wireless Inc., which is a Canadian supplier of mobile and broadband wireless solutions, caters for mobile network operators and internet service providers and offers specialized systems for indoor coverage, and rural connectivity in emerging markets, as well as connectivity to offshore platforms and ships, private mobile networks or custom solutions.
Sierratel, the only state-owned telecommunications provider, currently uses the Code-Division Multiple Access (CDMA), which is an obsolete technology in modern day telecommunications.
However, the MOU between Sierratel and NuRAN Wireless will ensure that the state-owned institution changes its CDMA to Global System for Mobiles (GSM), which is the modern-day telecommunications technology.
Once NuRAN starts its operation with Sierratel, there will be mileage in mobile data and even introduction of Sierratel mobile money.
Current Sierratel management is trying to upkeep the business but needs huge investment such as funds and advanced technology.
Sierratel’s management is guiding the company against “portfolio investment”, which basically means someone who doesn’t have knowledge about telecoms or have capital to invest but seeks support through a third-party. However, the company needs someone with the requisite telecoms’ industry knowledge, have access to modern technology and do a fast rollout in Sierra Leone.
It is no secret that the government looks forward to Sierratel to contribute to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), which can subsequently contribute to the government’s flagship program-the free quality education (FQE).
Recently, some dishonest individuals on traditional and social media have alleged that the staff of the company have not been paid for four months, and that the Chiefs (Chief Commercial Officer, Chief Finance Officer, Chief Technical Officer, etc.), were being paid for four months with huge salary increment. But reliable information from the company’s management disclosed that the staff have really not been paid for little over one month and not for four months.
“On Tuesday, 24th August, 2021, we have started paying their salaries. The Chiefs are never given salary increase. In fact, the wage bill still remains the same at Sierratel, which presupposes that there has been no increment so far,” the reliable source disclosed.
Sierratel’s Chiefs, who have gained expertise by working with multinational telecoms brands, are currently working tirelessly to ensure that the company continues to thrive.