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Thomas R. Hardy
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USTDA GRANT FURTHERS EFFORTS TO EXPAND MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS CAPACITY IN CHILE

SANTIAGO, CHILE (March 13, 2009) – Today, USTDA awarded a grant to Gallyas S.A., a Chilean telecommunications firm, to support an expansion of the mobile communications sector in Chile. The grant will support U.S. jobs by assisting Gallyas in developing its plans to upgrade from analog to a state-of-the-art digital technology trunking platform.

The $436,000 grant was conferred in a ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Santiago. U.S. Ambassador to Chile Paul Simons and Gallyas Director Pablo Gallyas signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. government and Gallyas S.A., respectively.

The Chilean telecommunications sector is one of the most advanced in Latin America, however, the frequency spectrum used for mobile communications is crowded. One of the methods used to conserve spectrum is trunking, which involves sharing a relatively small number of communications channels among a user or groups of users. Compared to analog, digital trunking offers increased efficiency and flexibility of communication, as well as improved signal quality and privacy.

The USTDA grant awarded today will support Gallyas’ efforts to migrate from an analog trunking platform to a digital platform by funding an analysis of the technical, commercial, legal, regulatory and organizational aspects of the digital migration process. The opportunity to conduct the USTDA-funded study will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. A link to the FBO announcement will be posted to USTDA’s website at www.ustda.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement. Gallyas will select the U.S. contractor that will complete the study.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair, open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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