Cellphone Coverage On Disputed Spratly Islands
Published on: 22nd May 2006
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
By end of June or early July the Vietnam Telecom Services Company (GPC) says that it will complete installation of BTS in the contested Truong Sa Archipelago (also known as Spratly Islands) to bring mobile service to this island town. Presently GPC has worked with Navy of region 4 to complete investment procedures. VinaPhone will use the transmission line of BTS via VSAT.
Presenly, Truong Sa islands have only 3 fix-phones via VSAT system provided by VTI to commute with the land. The communication with the land is very difficult. Therefore, the mobile coverage to Truong Sa islands will better satisfy communication need here.
The Spratly Islands are a disputed group of approximately 100 reefs and islets in the South China Sea. Part of the South China Sea Islands, the Spratlys are surrounded by rich fishing grounds and gas and oil deposits, whose true extent is unknown and disputed. The People's Republic of China (PRC), the Republic of China (Taiwan), and Vietnam each claim sovereignty over the entire group of islands, while Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines each claim various parts.
Several of the nations involved have soldiers stationed in the Spratlys and control various installations on different islands and reefs. Taiwan occupies one of the largest islands, Itu Aba. In February 1995, the PRC occupied Mischief Reef, creating a substantial political crisis in Southeast Asia, especially with the Philippines.
In early 1999, these disputes escalated as the Philippines claimed that the PRC was building military installations on the reef. Although the disputes have calmed to some degree, they still remain one of the most plausible scenarios for a major East Asian war involving the PRC or a smaller war between other claimants"