Windhoek-The public is being asked to either approve or object to MTC’s proposed N$1.1 billion investment to erect more than 500 base transceiver stations (BTS) across the country.
MTC recently announced its intention to expand its network capacity through its 081EVERY1 project, which the company describes as the beginning of a journey towards 100 percent population density coverage.
The undertaking of this billion-dollar project is slated to commence in October and will run until October 2019, according to acting chief executive officer Thinus Smit.
The project will see MTC construct over 524 new sites, which will see it increasing its footprint towards a tenfold network standard set to benefit remote and rural areas. A total of 412 new sites will be erected in rural areas and 88 new sites in urban areas in all 14 regions of the country.
Due to the increasing demand for mobile voice and data services in Namibia, the pressure to continuously expand the mobile communications footprint is increasing.
MTC will deploy new 2G, 3G and 4G sites, as well as upgrading existing sites with technologies like 3G and/or 4G. In doing this, the proposed project will ensure that the quality of the service provided to the mobile users in all regions of the country is improved.
As part of the massive investment, the billion-dollar project will see the introduction of 3G in major rural areas, especially in areas previously only serviced before by the 2G sector.
Currently, MTC mainly has full 3G and 4G coverage in the urban areas and has limited coverage in most rural areas which are covered by 2G. The aim with this investment is to have the same technology needs move to rural areas.
Part of the project, according to Smit, is driven towards the anticipation of full system convergence – especially with pending IoT (Internet of Things) and the long-awaited 5G technology – shortly after the successful trial of advanced LTE in May 2016 by the company.
GCS Namibia will act as the independent environmental assessment Practitioner (EAP), as well as the public participation practitioner for this environmental authorisation process.
GCS Water Environmental Engineering (Pty) Ltd (GCS Namibia) is a fully-integrated water, environmental, and earth science consulting services company based in South Africa, with offices in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and the Czech Republic.
“With the increasing usage of smartphones and rise in mobile broadband, MTC saw the need to enhance the quality of its network for greater customer satisfaction. There is a noticeable rapid growth in technology, where customers engage in an increasing number of ways with the network and this enhanced network coverage project will aid these communications,” said Smit
MTC’s Board chairperson Elvis Nashilongo at the occasion pointed out that “Quality of network infrastructure is the foundation of digitalisation and the network connects us both globally and locally, allowing us all to benefit from the information society. Poor network coverage has been one of the main customer complaints and as MTC took heed of the customers’ requests seriously this billion-dollar project has been introduced.”
“We are fully aware of the advance and ever-changing telecommunications technology and last year’s 4.5G trial is an indication that MTC will always strive to keep up with the latest technology,” Nashilongo said.