9 February 2011

History was made in the Namibian telecommunications sector when by Telecom Namibia successfully landed the much awaited West Africa Cable System (WACS) in Swakopmund on 8 February.

The project which was jointly executed by Telecom Namibia and Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks is expected to mark the beginning of cheaper bandwidth in the country.

The Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Joel Kaapanda assisted by his Botswana counterpart Frank Ramsden pulled the underwater sea cable to the shore to connect it with the landing station at Swakopmund at the commission ceremony at the costal town.

The cable ship, Le De Brehat, had positioned a day earlier, as crew members prepared the seabed for the landing of the cable. Divers laid the cable on the seabed the previous day, and a crew on shore pulled the cable into the beach manhole the next morning. The cable runs underground Swakopmund to its connectivity position at the Telecom Namibia technical building situated at the town.

Namibia and the Botswana contributed U$37.5 million each to secure the WACS landing point.

"We are at the dawn of an infrastructure revolution on the Namibian ICT landscape where broadband communication services will be further enhanced to benefit business, industry, internet community, academia and the entire Namibian population," Minister Kaapanda said.

The 14 000 kilometer cable will bring direct connectivity between Namibia, West Africa, the United Kingdom and the rest of the world with a design capacity of 5.12 terabit.

Managing Director of Telecom Namibia Frans Ndoroma said this equals to the download of 8000 DVDs in 60 seconds or 8 million MP3 files during the same time.

"The capacity of WACS is designed such that it has several terabytes that can sustain Namibia for the next 20 years. With this in place we can expect an increase in data speed, improve voice quality and allow video conferencing through afforda

10 February 2011

Research and development in information and communication technology has been boosted by today's launch of a Telecom Namibia-funded Centre of Excellence (CoE) at University of Namibia.

The establishment of the centre followed the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the two parties on 24 July 2009. Amongst others, the agreement entails a commitment by Telecom Namibia to promote and strengthen directly or indirectly the field of information communication technology at UNAM.

Managing Director of Telecom Namibia, Frans Ndoroma said the objective of the centre is to promote a culture of excellence in research in telecommunications and information technology at UNAM.

"The objective of the centre is to create an opportunity for graduates to conduct research in a world class environment so that the much needed skills can be developed to grow the ICT knowledge base in Namibia," Ndoroma said.

"Our vision as Telecom Namibia is to make Namibia a part of the vibrant and innovative knowledge society. Developing a strong culture of innovation and entrepreneurship is essential to the growth and success of the ICT in our country in order to achieve our national goals of economic growth and development," he added.

He said the centre has the potential to contribute to the overall implementation of Namibia's Vision 2030. "Our main objective and mission as a national telecommunications operator is to serve as a catalyst for realizing Vision 2030 by creating the necessary infrastructural conditions. We see that as part of our responsibility as one of the leading ICT players in the country," he stressed.

Vice-Chancellor of UNAM, Professor Lazarus Hangula expressed his appreciation to Telecom Namibia for sponsoring the Centre adding: "We are very happy that through a partnership with a key national institution of the caliber of Telecom Namibia we shall be able to bridge the gap between the national University and the local ICT industry."

"I would like to thank Telecom Namibia for investing their money in the improvement of ICT research and education standards in Namibia," he added.

Deputy Minister of Education Dr. David Namwandi welcomed the partnership between UNAM and Telecom Namibia saying: "Normally in order to produce engineers and technicians of world standard, appropriate infrastructure and equipment need to be provided, and syllabi adjusted accordingly."

Dr. Namwandi commended Telecom Namibia for having taken the first bold step to bridge the gap between industry and university and appealed to other players in the industry to join hands with Telecom Namibia with the aim to make the centre a viable project.

“Most of our graduates complain about stringent conditions (prior experience) imposed by prospective employers, now is an opportunity to get themselves into this programme and eventually graduate with experience," he added.

Through the centre, UNAM will be able to engage into research and projects in conjunction with esteemed industry players such as Telecom Namibia. Telecom Namibia will make funding and equipment available to the centre and has also undertaken to attract other players in the industry to invest in the Centre and thus broaden the scope of research undertaken by the Centre.

Students and lecturers will also have an opportunity to present their papers before a host of industry leaders the Telecom Namibia ICT Summit on an annual basis.

In addition to supplying and installing all the equipment and software at the centre, Telecom Namibia is also providing four research scholarships to promising Namibian students whose aim is to do postgraduate studies while also providing concrete solutions to the industry.

ble and available bandwidth," Ndoroma added.

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