China Telecom, one of the country's dominant telecom operators, said it has launched network reconstruction projects in snow-hit areas. Services will be fully restored by the end of next month.
Heavy snow and icy rain since Jan. 10 have hampered telecom services in the country's east, central and southern regions. According to China Telecom, services in most of the disaster-hit provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions have been fully resumed. This left only a handful of networks in Guizhou, Hunan, Jiangxi, Fujian and Sichuan still in need of repair.
To date, the company has dispatched 346,658 employees and 127,519 vehicles to repair the damaged base stations.
By Monday, 129,920 of the stations, about 95.07 percent of the total, and 82,636 transmission towers had been repaired, More than 11 million subscribers, about 88.16 percent of the affected telecom users, could now make calls again.
China Telecom also said it would replace copper cables with optical cables in the reconstruction, and update equipment to accelerate the evolution of its rural telecom network.
Approximately 11.91 million telecom users, or 60 percent of the total subscribers, suffered a suspension in phone links because of the worst snow in China in 50 years.
(Xinhua News Agency February 19, 2008)