Windhoek, 29 January 2022 - Telecom Namibia, since the advent of the festive season, has been experiencing a number of service disruptions affecting dozens of customers, due to the theft of copper wires.

Copper wire theft poses a serious threat to service experience and related economic activities, resulting in the disruption of network availability, loss in revenue, customer frustration and increased costs of replacing the lost equipment.

Telecom Namibia would like to caution scrap metal dealers not to buy the stolen copper wires and for transport operators or cargo carriers not to transport illegal copper products. Similarly, potential thieves are equally warned that stealing copper wire from the national telecommunication network is an illegal exercise and can land perpetrators in jail.

Dr. Stanley Shanapinda, Telecom Namibia’s Chief Executive Officer, has noted that thieves are stealing not only copper cables but also batteries and solar panels and, in the process, damaging fences and locks and in some instances even engaging in destruction of facilities at base stations.  “Telecom has reported high number of incidents of criminals targeting Telecom Namibia’s infrastructure. This clearly shows that criminals are causing serious damage to the Telecom Namibia networks through copper theft and sheer vandalism, resulting in downtime for customers and costing the company millions. This directly affects our quality of service and customer experience in the affected areas”, Shanapinda expressed.

The CEO further stated that this theft hits customers hard, as network damage results in service unavailability, impacts on emergency services as well as on businesses using the affected networks. He therefore urges communities to be vigilant as the ramifications of theft and/or vandalism are felt by all of us. “We urge communities to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities or malpractices around the Telecom Namibia infrastructure to the nearest Police Station.”

With hundreds of kilometers of cable running underground and on poles to provide telecommunication service in Namibia, it is impracticable and impossible for Telecom Namibia to provide security to protect them. We therefore call on all Namibians to exercise patriotism and be a watchdog to safeguard our national telecommunications backbone in their best interest of retaining reliable and efficient communication in the country, especially during a time when voice and internet connectivity is an essential service, due to pandemic and other critical communication needs.



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