Telecom Namibia is committed to bridging the digital divide and ensuring equitable access to connectivity for all Namibians, including those in rural and remote areas. This article explores the company’s initiatives, challenges, and future plans for achieving this goal.

Modernizing the Network for Improved User Experience

Telecom Namibia is actively modernizing its mobile network, upgrading sites from 2G and 3G to 4G and 4.5G technology. This nationwide effort aims to provide faster internet speeds and enhanced connectivity across the country. Additionally, leveraging on its extensive national fiber network exceeding 13,000 kilometers to roll out fiber-optic connections to communities, further shrinking the digital divide.

Through Its Arms and Partnerships:

  • Satlink: This service caters specifically to rural and remote areas, offering reliable internet access and bridging the connectivity gap.
  • Powercom: As a subsidiary, Powercom facilitates infrastructure sharing with other operators, promoting industry growth and wider access choices for consumers.
  • Collaborations: Discussions with MTC are underway to share mobile sites in rural areas, allowing for cost-effective expansion. Additionally, partnerships with CENORED, Erongo RED, and NORED are being explored to leverage resources for rural electrification, potentially facilitating future connectivity projects.

Telecom Namibia acknowledges the significant hurdles in connecting rural communities to the internet. The high cost of replacing outdated technologies with more cost-effective options like LTE and fiber optic cables is a major obstacle, especially in sparsely populated areas. Even when Telecom Namibia offers subsidized rates to ensure inclusivity in these regions, it can strain its financial sustainability. Furthermore, the challenges of maintaining infrastructure due to theft, vandalism, and unreliable power supplies disrupt service delivery and divert resources that could be used for expanding services to these underserved communities.

Telecom Namibia isn't just acknowledging the challenges of rural connectivity, the company is actively seeking solutions. Replacing older WiMAX technology with wider-reaching LTE offers a more immediate improvement.

Looking towards the future, Telecom Namibia has a five-year Integrated Strategic Business Plan that includes significant investments. The company is aiming to achieve 80% 4G and 5G coverage in key regions within just three years, and plan to build over 500 new base stations nationwide by 2027. This ambitious rollout will significantly expand the company’s network reach. Recognizing the importance of collaboration, the company is also exploring partnerships with government agencies and research institutions to leverage combined resources and expertise for efficient and cost-effective infrastructure development, particularly focused on closing the digital gap in underserved communities.

In conclusion, Telecom Namibia recognizes the importance of rural connectivity and is actively working towards bridging the digital divide. Through network modernization, strategic partnerships, and exploration of innovative technologies, the company is aiming to ensure that all Namibians, regardless of location, have access to the transformational power of the internet. This commitment paves the way for a more inclusive and connected future for Namibia.



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