The Rostov region of southern Russia is about to enter the telecommunications age through an agreement with Telecommunication Technology International (Holdings) Ltd. (TTI) to begin the preliminary planning for linking their cities and towns to an Atlanta call center which will connect them with the rest of the world.

The agreement was announced Jan. 9 by Ray Hamblett, who heads TTI, which is associated with companies in the Atlanta Network Communication Group (ANGG), to begin the system that will tie together the 12 major cities and many towns in the Rostov region through the Atlanta center.

According to Mr. Hamblett whose offices are in Kennesaw, the major cities in the Rostov region currently have rudimentary telephone systems which enable  residents to call one another, but do not provide long distance services.  The telephone service in the 42 administrative districts in the region is even more limited, he said.

Mr. Hamblett explained that TTI will draw up plans for expanding the cellular and wireless telecommunications components of each city’s hardwire system enabling satellite transmission to Atlanta and from there anywhere in the world. He estimated that  some $16 million would be required to install an integrated 10,000 line telephone and eight channel wireless cable tv system into each of the major cities.

The agreement also calls for TTI to set up the wireless technology so that Rostov residents will be able to pick up cable television programming.  Although television sets abound in the region, he said that the available programming is mostly locally produced and consequently quite limited.

The next step in the process, he added, will be to develop the network’s format and complete a business plan which will be presented to private investor and institutional enterprise funds.

 TTI/ANCG already operates more than 52 earth station systems in 22 international locations in Eastern Europe and Africa through the Atlanta call center.  Even in Bosnia calls that are placed between cities pass through the Atlanta center under a contract that TTI/ANCG has with the United Nations.