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Technology | Economy - Development

Isolated Mauritian island gets mobile coverage

afrol News, 21 November - The isolated islands of Agaléga, situated at 1,122 kilometres to the north of Mauritius, is now connected to the world via a new mobile phone network, the government of Mauritius announced today.

"The island of Agaléga is henceforth connected to a mobile phone network set up by Emtel Ltd," the Mauritian Government Information Service today informed. The launch of the first mobile phone call to and from Agaléga was made on 19 November at Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel, Port Louis, by Mauritian Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam, in the presence of the Chief Executive Officer of Emtel, Shyam Roy.

On this occasion, PM Ramgoolam had a mobile telephone conversation with the Chairman of the Outer Islands Development Corporation (OIDC), Hervé Aimée and Mrs Merilinda Marie, a resident of the island. To mark the event, Emtel offered 180 mobile telephones to the entire adult population of the island.

"The Emtel Project in Agaléga will provide communication facilities to the inhabitants of the island as well as to the Mauritian people working there," government announced. It has been implemented with the collaboration of the OIDC, which administers the island, the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation, Multi Carrier (Mauritius) Ltd and the National Coast Guard, amongst others. The services offered comprise Gsm, Gprs, sms, mms, and e-mail at the same tariffs as in the main islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues.

Agaléga islands, with a total population of 300 persons, are situated at 1,122 kilometres to the north of Mauritius main island. It is composed on two sister islands, North Island and South Island, both populated and divided by a shallow channel. North Island also hosts an airstrip, some minor roads and limited tourist facilities.

Overseas telecommunication facilities until now were provided by the Mauritius Telecom station in North Island with four telephone lines. This means that people from South Island had to cross the channel to travel to North Island for communication. Both islands are now connected to the mobile phone network.

"The extension of the mobile phone network in Agaléga will help to overcome bottlenecks in terms of connectivity and will provide a wider worldwide access to the residents," the Mauritian government announces.

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