TelEm Group’s Massive Cutover Operation Gets Under Way in Dawn Beach Without a Hitch

TelEm Group has successfully completed the starting stage of a massive cutover of customers from the company’s DSM 100 digital switch to a new software intensive switching system called the CS2K Softswitch. 

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The exercise kicked off last Friday with the transfer of customers in the Dawn Beach area and involved the seamless transfer of more than 300 customer lines. At the end of the operation only a handful of internet users in the Guana Bay area reported losing their connections.

The team of TelEm Group technicians and engineers commenced the operation at 11:00 in the evening and worked throughout the night and early morning until the job was completed at approximately 4.45 am, Saturday morning.

Monitoring the progress of the work was a technical expert from the Bureau of Telecommunications (BOT) based in Curacao.

CS2K Project leader Mr. Kenneth Blijden said also at hand during the cutover was a technical expert from the USA-based company GENBAND which manufactures the softwitch.

"Everything went very much to plan and at this stage we do not anticipate any problems as we tackle the transfer on the Ebenezer (1000 subscriber lines) and Belvedere (900 subscriber lines) DMS 100 switches on Tuesday night," said Mr. Blijden.

He said the team of technicians and engineers stuck diligently to their tasks and ensured that months of planning did not throw up any unexpected surprises.

"We will be applying some of the early lessons learned with the Dawn Beach operation and applying these as we continue with the transfer on the other switches," continued Mr. Blijden.

One of the things the team will be doing from tonight is starting earlier, 9:00 pm in the evening, instead of the planned time of 11:00 p.m.

As the result of the cutover, customers in the Ebenezer and Belvedere areas will experience interruptions in service while their numbers are being terminated from the old switching system and reconnected to the new switching system.

Mr. Blijden said TelEm Group customers with internet service should be advised that the interruption to their telephone line could also affect the operation of their DSL internet services.

"When the customer is reconnected and he/she gets a dial tone once more we are requesting them to unplug their modem from the power supply and then reconnect with the power supply to reconfigure their DSL modem.

"The internet service should be reconnected right away if they follow this simple step," continued Mr. Blijden.

He said in the event that service is not resumed, a special helpdesk number 546-9999 has been set up at the TelEm Group main office to handle customer calls and find solutions to any problems related to the cutover.

TelEm Group’s Chief Technical Officer, CTO, Mr. Louisa said the company is very pleased with the way the cutover has started.

" We continue to ask for the public’s patience and understanding while we are carrying out what is a very complicated and important exercise," stated Mr. Louisa.

He said information about the cutover has not only been forthcoming to the public and customers of TelEm Group, but also to other carriers and suppliers who work closely with TelEm Group and rely on the company’s telecommunication infrastructure to provide services to their own customers.

The Cutover team consists of: Kenneth Blijden (Project Manager); Donville Hodge (Assistant Project Manager); Edmond Stroop; Anthony Carty; Carlos Monsanto, Percival Cocks and personnel from Switching & Transmission Departments of (TelEm) and (TelCell).