Telecom to roll out 500 new towers to improve coverage

Telecom Namibia plans to roll out 500 new mobile towers in the next five years as part of its plan to improve infrastructure and increase mobile coverage in the country.

The telecommunications company’s rollout of mobile towers is in line with its existing plan to lay out fibre worth N$300 million.

“For Telecom Namibia, we have taken two strategies, the first one is our mobile coverage in the next five years we need to be rolling out 500 new mobile sites, secondly, it is on the fibre rollout we have the biggest footprint in terms of fibre in the country and we've got a N$300 million plan for fibre rollout across the whole country,” Telecom Namibia CEO Stanley Shanapinda said.

Shanapinda also highlighted the challenges that the state-owned enterprise faces while providing services.

He cited bureaucratic processes within municipalities and town councils to get access to land to erect the towers as one of the hindrances in providing timely rollout.

“We've got big problems in Windhoek around getting sites where we can't roll out new mobile sites particularly quick enough because of various bureaucracy processes with the City of Windhoek so that's also what we need to talk about as to how quickly we can get those,” he said.

He further noted that getting environmental clearance certificates is also an issue as it takes about a year or two to receive the clearance by which time customers are frustrated at the lack of service provision.

“There's a whole lot of people that have been left out in terms of that connectivity. Those for us as operators are the key issues that we need to address if we want to bridge the digital divide,” he said.

The CEO said there are always gaps in rural areas, particularly around how the rollouts are going to be financed and this is why it is imperative that the government also gets involved as an investor.

“So obviously we do our business cases and that in the first few years, they may not be a worthwhile investment, but after a few years, that's when you start breaking even,” he explained.

This comes as PowerCom, a subsidiary of Telecom Namibia, announced plans to invest N$36 million to construct 30 sites across various regions of Namibia to enhance its infrastructure for better network coverage, voice, and internet services.

Telecom Namibia is planning to more than double its investment in network upgrades under its Integrated Strategic Business Plan, aiming to make its data and interconnection faster, increasingly reliable, and more secure.

The telecommunications company has initiated several projects to upgrade its core, backbone, and backhaul networks, including the replacement of legacy access systems with next-generation access systems capable of delivering high-speed data transmission.

Telecom Namibia has stated that it requires N$2.371 billion in funding to sustain its capital projects from 2023 to 2027.

It is reported that there are 1.37 million internet users in Namibia while internet penetration stands at 53.0% with a total of 2.81 million active cellular mobile connections.




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Last modified on Wednesday, 11 October 2023 19:31

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