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Nov 29, 2022 14:42 EEST
November 29 (SeeNews) - A Bulgarian consortium controlled by Telcom Engineering and involving Telelink Infra Services, a unit of Telelink Business Services [BUL:TBS], has embarked on a 108.4 million levs ($57.5 million/55.4 million euro) project for the development and overhaul of the interior ministry's TETRA digital system and radio relay network, Telelink Infra said on Tuesday.
The consortium, National System for Critical Communications, will prioritise the development of new-generation base stations to complement the radio coverage of the existing TETRA network on Bulgaria's border with Turkey, Telelink Infra said in a press release.
TETRA, which is short for Terrestrial Trunked Radio, provides a system for low-frequency encrypted communications used to exchange information by military and law enforcement agencies, including border police, so as to ensure public safety.
In recent weeks, there has been intensified migrant pressure on Bulgaria's border with Turkey, with Bulgarian authorities detaining groups of illegal migrants, according to local media reports. Several road accidents involving vehicles trafficking illegal migrants and Bulgarian border police also took place in recent weeks. Some EU member states have voiced concerns over security at the EU's external borders ahead of a crucial December vote by the European Council on Bulgaria and Romania joining the European free-travel Schengen area.
In the long term, the TETRA system is expected to achieve coverage of over 95% of Bulgaria's territory.
"Telelink Infra Services will work on building the infrastructure for new sites, the supply and installation of redundant power supply, network equipment and part of the communication equipment for data transmission and voice," the company's managing director, Dina Temelkova, said.
Telcom Engineering, which is the exclusive representative of leading TETRA equipment manufacturer Airbus, owns 79.30% of the consortium. The stake is worth just under 86 million levs, according to the statement. The balance of 20.70%, which is worth 22.4 million levs, is held by Telelink Infra Services.
The National System for Critical Communications investor group was awarded the tender in October. The procurement is financed under Bulgaria's EU-supported Recovery and Resilience Plan.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)
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