By Wezi Tjaronda WINDHOEK NAMIBIA’S telecommunications network was flooded with text messages over the peak holiday periods, MTC Namibia announced yesterday. The mobile telecommunication company said it experienced a significant increase in its text message traffic over the past calendar year. Compared to 2004, when the company saw a rise in traffic of 85 percent, 2005 saw an increase of 111 percent, said MTC Namibia’s Albertus Oachamub, Senior Manager: Corporate Services. The traffic for 2004 amounted to 175 million text messages, while last year saw over 322 million SMS messages. Comparing the months of December alone for 2004 and 2005, MTC Namibia recorded over 42 million and over 19 million in December the previous year. The result is that there were some delays in some instances in the message delivery due to the network overload, especially during Christmas and New Year week-ends. Managing Director of MTC, Bengt Strenge said the company was continuously increasing its capacity to cater for increased traffic volumes last year and was going to do so again this year. But due to the rapidly rising customer base and improvements in phone functionalities that enable users to send the same message to multiple contacts simultaneously, no network provider is spared the challenge during peak periods. MTC has so far invested over N$700 million into the network over the past 10 years, with another N$300 million planned to invest in boosting coverage and capacity. Areas that have been planned for coverage this year include: Terrace Bay, Otjiwasando, Palmwag, Grootberg, Tsintsabis, Maroelaboom, Kalkfeld, Otjikondo, Safarihoek (north of Otjikondo), Langerberg, six sites in former Herero-land, Osire, two sites at Langerheinrich mine, GrootAub, Klein Aub, Man-braun (Hochfeld), Roeland, four sites in the Caprivi region, Hoachanas, Krantzberg (South of Keetmsnhoop), Kudukuppe (Khomas Hoch-land), and a control post between Rosh Pinah and Kalahari Plaas.
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