NZ company helps build Afghan telecomms

The company that emerged from one-time highflier Telemedia has won a significant contract in a war-torn part of the world.

The company that emerged from one-time highflier Telemedia has won a significant contract in a war-torn part of the world.

Auckland-based Argent Networks has won a $4.5 million contract to provide billing software for Afghanistan's first GSM mobile network.

Argent signed the deal with the Afghan Wireless Communications Company last month and has sent personnel to Afghanistan to begin installation. The contract covers hardware and software deployment, platform maintenance and support as well as training. The network will provide the Afghan people with national and international calling for the first time.

Telemedia founder and chief executive Chris Jones took the company to Australia in September 1999 to seek capital, but kept research and development and back office work in New Zealand.

In June 2001 the receivers were called in, the company blaming unpaid bills for its losses and debt level.

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