WINDHOEK – The network tower that provides cellular phone coverage to Walvis Bay is under refurbishment, so that it can provide enhanced network connection. The tower, which was erected in 2006, had some of its corroded parts removed to generally bring it in harmony with towers constructed recently. Refurbishment has been taking place over the last two months at an estimated cost of N$700 000.
The refurbishment exercise forms part of the company’s commitment to provide routine maintenance to infrastructure and ensure that tower structures remain in good condition throughout their lifetime, said PowerCom CEO, Alisa Amupolo.
“The end user benefits through safety and the life expectancy of the tower is increased, creating confidence when networks are rolled out on PowerCom’s sites,” said Amupolo.
The Walvis Bay tower is 50m wide and is carrying a capacity of 14-m2. Located at NPTH Building, which is also home to Telecom Namibia’s Walvis Bay office, it is one of two tower sites in Walvis Bay itself, with another 21 towers situated elsewhere in the Erongo Region.
The refurbishment process involves quality assurance inspections by both PowerCom and the contractor. The usual quality assurance process when refurbishing involves correcting and repairing any work highlighted in the structural analysis. The final inspection will be conducted 12 months post-handover, with any flaws reported to the contractor. Contractors are expected to fix any deficiencies before the 10 percent retention is paid.
Amupolo also discussed the challenges of the refurbishment, saying the long distances to the site were problematic for transporting materials, with some imported from abroad, as they are not manufactured locally. “In addition, the country’s vast landscape, as well as the climatic conditions in coastal areas, makes the towers more prone to corrosion than you would find elsewhere. This necessitates more routine maintenance than you would usually expect to undertake inland,” she said. Amupolo said generally, tower refurbishments do not require frequent upgrading unless structural instability is identified, or client, personnel and community safety is at risk.