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22 March 2013

Telecom Namibia today announced that it has won the award for best internship programme from the Namibian Chapter of the Institute of People Management (IPM), an organisation that aims at enhancing the skills set and level of human resource practitioners in the country.

The IPM’s “Company Employing Most Students Award” recognises those organisations that have made a concerted effort and progress in providing learnerships and internships/on the job training to students from institutions of higher learning who need such skills. Such companies should demonstrate that they have made deliberate efforts and programmes to expose students with such skills and knowledge.

This award is presented to companies that showcase various best HR practices and it recognises both individuals and organisations for outstanding achievement in people management.

Andrew Kanime, chief HR Officer at Telecom Namibia, said: “We are very proud of our internship programme, and are constantly reviewing it to ensure it provides our graduates with the best possible training. We have worked hard to make Telecom Namibia a great place to learn, as the development of our trainees and promotion from within is a key to our growth.”

Kanime said the award is recognition of sustained and continuous commitment by Telecom Namibia to the development of human talent in line with not only the company-specific needs but also the country’s need to develop a world-class workforce. Besides the internship programme, employees are also encouraged to participate in several programmes and activities which help them pursue their passion and achieve a good work-life balance.

“It is hoped that this recognition will spur Telecom Namibia to work even harder in contributing to the country’s drive in enhancing its human capital competitiveness,” he said.

In 2006 Telecom Namibia introduced a talent pipeline scheme to address skills shortages in the Namibian market particularly in the areas of information technology and telecommunication/electronic

engineering.

The talent pipeline scheme takes the following form:

  • Providing bursaries to needy school leavers to pursue studies in fields such as electronic/telecommunication engineering as well as finance and accounting;
  • Providing internship opportunities to students from institutions of higher learning; and
  • Providing a three years on-the-job training to graduates from tertiary institutions.

The company spends over 3% of its labour cost on skills development on a yearly basis.

Over the past five years, Telecom Namibia spent over N$54,5 million on training cost for trainees participating in the various company talent pipeline scheme. A total of 77 school leavers were awarded bursaries, while 55 have participated in the internship programme at the company. In addition, 24 graduates were trained as engineers-in-training and 50 as engineering technicians-in-training. In the same period, 27 graduates were trained as IP/IT trainees.

According to Dr. Raimo Naanda, the company’s senior manager for training and development, all trainees who have participated in all the skills development initiatives were finally employed in various capacities within the company.

"We are thrilled by the external validations of our industry-best HR practices and skills development initiatives. This topnotch award acknowledges and commends our efforts towards addressing skills deficits in the Namibian market and creating employment opportunities to the Namibian youths," Dr. Naanda added.

“Over the years, Telecom Namibia has made the policy of sustainable development of all employees one of its most important priorities. I am delighted to see that our efforts have been recognised. Telecom Namibia will constantly adhere to this policy,” Dr. Naanda concluded.

2 April 2013

Telecom Namibia posted the best year-on-year results for the country’s biggest telecommunications operator so far as both revenue and profits rose.

This is according to the audited financial results for the financial year ended September 2012 released by the company after its 2013 annual general meeting held in Windhoek on 26 March this year.

Revenues were up 7 percent year-on-year to N$1.22 billion. However, distribution costs increased to N$291 million, up by 18 percent, which was in line with expectations given the growth in services rendered.

An EBITDA profit (before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of N$127 million was realised, up by 23 percent compared to the previous year.

“Business was challenging in 2011/12 but we managed to increase turnover by 7 percent,” said Frans Ndoroma, Managing Director of Telecom Namibia. “We closed the year with good operating results which have positioned us well for the future,” Ndoroma added.

The growth is mainly thanks to the increased uptake of Telecom Namibia’s broadband offerings off the back of capital investment amounting to N$746 million since 2009 made in MPLS networks, fibre networks, both undersea and terrestrial, ADSL and WiMAX, among others.

There was a 500 percent increase in broadband subscribers from 2009 to 2012 and this was expected to grow further. “Our market share has remained strong thanks to the Speedlink product,” said Joseph Iita, Board Chairman of Telecom Namibia.

Speedlink is a fixed broadband product which offers unlimited Internet usage at a flat rate. The product has become a trendsetter in Internet service provisioning in the country.

Contrary to worldwide industry trends, the total number of fixed lines grew with 13 percent between 2009 and 2013, according to a report submitted at the company’s annual general meeting.

This report futher states that 74 fixed wireless (WiMAX) base stations are in operation, while 128 ADSL fixed broadband sites have been rolled out to date to provide always-on, high-speed Internet access and voice managed service to customers throughout the country.

The country was well-connected by Telecom Namibia network infrastructure with 395 points of presence and 228 digital destinations.

The report futher points out that the undersea cables have put Namibia

at the forefront of regional connectivity. Regional and international points of presence in London, Frankfurt, Johannesburg and Cape Town were being installed to allow for cheaper and seamless connections for Namibia to the outside world.

“High-quality, high-speed global connectivity is required for the country to keep up with globalisation. Not only that. Customers want high-speed broadband and demand for the service will continue to grow multiplying the need for greater bandwidth capacity,” Ndoroma said.

To fully utilise WACS Telecom Namibia built a redundant national fibre network towards Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana based optical transport network (OTN) and dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) technology. Phase C of the OTN/DWDM project was approved in August 2012 and will be commissioned this year.

OTN/DWDM is a cost-effective connectivity solution that would provide Telecom Namibia with the capability to meet the challenges that come with the continued growth of bandwidth hungry applications such as high-definition television, real-time data backup and peer-to-peer networking.

Another major initiative for 2013, says the report, is the upgrading of the national and international transport links (TNI/TEX) – as well as the relevant synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) - to support full use of WACS product and service opportunities. The TNI/TEX platform will allow transport of both, IP and international express routes (TDM based) which will lead to increased use of capacity and a cut in production cost.

Over 8 000 kilometres of fibre optic routes have been rolled out so far and the fibre backbone infrastructure was being expanded to four times 10Gigabit DWDM to allow for high-speed, high-capacity connectivity.

Telecom Namibia has made capital investment of N$235 million during the 2011/12 financial year, with total assets increasing by 2.5 percent to N$2.6 billion.

Investment in human resources development amounted to N$11.2 million, which equates to 2.7 percent of labour cost, or a percent of the company’s turnover.

In the area of corporate social responsibility, BEE procurement orders placed totaled N$338 million for the year which equates to about 41 percent of overall spend.

The company also rolled out connectivity to schools through Xnet Development Alliance Trust, connected more farmers and rural communities with wireless systems, continued to run a rehab facility open to the public and sponsored various community causes as a way of giving back to society.

“Maintaining strong, positive growth in what is a difficult business landscape serves as validation that we are headed in the right direction and our strategies are aligned with customers’ needs.” Ndoroma said.

“We have identified the key opportunities for our business in the new financial year, and expect to maintain this positive growth in 2012/13 and beyond,” he concluded.


Telecom Namibia Managing Director Frans Ndoroma (left) at theNewTelco Frankfurt Data Centre being briefed by Eckart Zollner, Business Development Manager for Jasco Co-location Solutions, which is in a joint venture with German based co-location specialists NewTelco GmbH. The Telecom MD was accompanied by Amanda Hauuanga, Head of Marketing; Laban Hiwilepo, Head of Design, Engineering, Planning and Implementation (DEPI) and Heiko Trost, Chief Commercial Officer.

29 March 2013

Telecom Namibia has announced today that the installation of its own international points of presence (PoPs) in two European capitals, connected to the West African Cable System (Wacs) undersea cable, is making good progress.

That is according to Frans Ndoroma, Managing Director of Telecom Namibia, who says the PoPs in Frankfurt and London are expected to be up and running before the end of March this year.

Ndoroma was in Germany on his way from this year’s World Mobile Congress held in Barcelona to gain firsthand knowledge of progress made in installing the PoPs for the efficient and effective use of the much-vaunted WACS undersea cable to which Namibia is connected since last year.

The PoP service being rolled out follows the signing of an agreement between Telecom Namibia and a Jasco Group company, NewTelco SA, which is a joint venture with German based co-location specialists NewTelco GmbH, providing an interconnection hub in the sub-Saharan region with a neutral service, for global interconnectivity and reliable, high quality of service.

“We visited the sites in Frankfurt and London where we were shown the installation in progress. I was happy with the progress made. The actual completion is scheduled for the end March 2013,” he said.

“Due to our ability to deploy a number of teams in parallel across our global locations we are able to achieve short implementation times and are pleased with the progress made across the locations,” explains

Eckart Zollner, business development manager for Jasco Co-location Solutions.

Telecom Namibia and NewTelco are also installing PoPs in Cape Town and Johannesburg to enable Telecom Namibia to offer its customers in South Africa and abroad direct connections to a number of existing and future undersea cable systems, including Wacs, Seacom, Eastern African Submarine Cable System, SAT3, the Africa Coast to Europe submarine cable and the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa submarine cable systems.

“These PoPs are an extension of our network in Germany and the UK; which means our customers will hop onto our network right in London and Frankfurt and need not be carried by third parties. These cities are the main hubs of international telecommunication traffic,” Ndoroma said.

While the infrastructure is being built, Telecom Namibia is making use of NewTelco’s existing infrastructure.

Zollner pointed out that the partnership with Telecom Namibia has been very positive for both sides. He said the PoP service allows Telecom Namibia to deploy its own network services at a very short lead time of four weeks across Europe at no capital expense.

“We look forward to growing the mutual benefits for both parties. As the network is completed we are able to bring a vast number of global carriers, content and solution providers to Telecom Namibia, thus giving access to a wide range and choice of products and services which Telecom Namibia in turn is able to offer to its customers and partners,” he said.

“By extending their network outside Namibia into Europe and the rest of Africa, Telecom Namibia has taken a leading role in Sub-Saharan Africa with the provisioning of connectivity and services across the region. This concept has been successfully implemented across Europe, Russia and Asia over the past few years and has contributed significantly to the rapid economic development of these regions. We feel that Telecom Namibia should be commended for this visionary approach and look forward to jointly play a continuous role towards improving affordable broadband penetration across Africa,” Zollner concluded.

The four PoPs formed the first phase of a larger solution and Telecom Namibia plans to establish additional PoPs and extend its national infrastructure in future phases.

Using NewTelco as a carrier neutral and vendor neutral service provider with global reach across 25 locations in 20 countries removes any requirements on capital expenditure on the part of Telecom Namibia as NewTelco offers solutions on the basis of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

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