13 Jan 2003

Move to combat telecoms congestion in New Caledonia

5:46 pm on 13 January 2003

The mobile phone service provider in New Caledonia says connection problems are the result of the network having reached its capacity.

The provider, OPT, says 19 more relay stations will be built in the Noumea area this year in a bid to cope with the number of calls made by the current 80-thousand users.

The congestion has led to many messages being delayed and phones automatically switching to answer services.

A local technician told the territory's newspaper that some relay stations can handle only 100 calls at any one time, which means additional calls fail to connect.

OPT is reported to have invested almost 20 million US dollars in the network since in was launched seven years ago and it says while Noumea suffers from congestion it has to expand its services to parts of the far north.