Swedish Firm Helps To Solve Botswana Telecomm Hitch

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Swedish Firm Helps To Solve Botswana Telecomm Hitch April 1, 2000

GABORONE, Botswana (PANA) - Representatives of Swedish telecommunications giant, Ericsson, are in Gaborone to help solve a massive technical glitch caused by its equipment that has wrecked havoc on Botswana's telephone billing system for months.

The Chief Executive Officer of the troubled state- owned Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC), Olebile Gaborone, told the press Friday that the Ericsson team would be able to rectify the fault by May. In recent months, the corporation's billing system has caused untold nightmares to customers because of the new technology supplied by the Swedish company.

In some cases customers either received highly inflated bills or double bills. Others did not receive any bill at all for months. In such cases the BTC, which is a monopoly, has proceeded to disconnect some customers mistakenly but failed to restore services.

During the press briefing, Gaborone admitted that the problems caused by the new billing system has had a negative effect on the corporation's liquidity and cash flow. However he asserted that this has not affected BTC's operations.

While the new system from Ericsson is supposed to printout bills between 14-20 days it currently takes up to 40 days to do this.

The corporation abandoned its old billing system in favour of the one from Ericsson because of what Gaborone said were a number of shortcomings, including limited capacity. Another handicap was the old system was not Y2K compliant.


-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), April 01, 2000

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