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KUNENE LEAST COVERED BY TELECOMMUNICATION NETWORK

By: Nghiinomenwa Erastus

As the country talks about e-learning at both the school level and higher institutions and digitalisation, this will be practically impossible to implement in the Kunene Region.

Given the region’s low telecommunication network, reducing the region’s internet connectivity enables e-learning and digital services.

The population of Kunene Region is the least covered when it comes to telecommunication networks, 2G, 3G and 4G, with the least broadband access.

The Communication Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) revealed in its second-quarter report (latest) for 2021.

The report presents the country’s ICT statistics, which shows that the vast and tourism rich Kunene Region’ population struggles with communication networks with the worst internet connection at the regional level.

The statistics show that the majority (66%) of the region’s population are covered by the slower 2G network, which is depressingly low compared to the other areas- as every region is 88% covered by a 2G network.

When it comes to 3G networks and broadband, the situation worsens, as only 50% of the Kunene Region’ population is covered by the third generation of network, which is faster.

In comparison to every other region in the country, their population is covered by over 83% except for the Omaheke region at 66%.

For 4G networks, only 33% of the population are covered, while other regions are 69% to 96% covered by the faster generation of mobile networks.

The lack of coverage in the Kunene Region’s population is hidden in the country population coverage statistics that shows that Namibia stood at 89% for 3G, an increase from 78% recorded in 2019, while 79% of the population is now covered by 4G (an increase from 40%: 2019). 

According to CRAN, the growth in coverage can be attributed to MTC’s 081-everyone project- which has reached many rural communities.

The report shows that the Kunene Region still has around 36 817 people with no access to the 2G network.

In terms of 3G, the country has 268 296 people who are not covered by the third generation faster network.

Kunene Region still rules, having the biggest share for a single region with 54 792 people not covered by the 3G network, followed by Oshikoto Region, which has 30 195 people not covered by the 3G network.

When it comes to the 4G network, the country is still struggling with faster and more convenient e-learning and digitalisation. Half a million of its population (534 593) are still not covered by the fourth-generation network.

Kunene Region still lags behind the others, with 73 110 people having no access to 4G followed by Oshikoto Region (57 636), then the two Kavango regions with a combined of more 100 000 people not covered by the 4G network.

Even though Khomas is housing the capital city, there are still people who have no access to the 2G network as of the end of June 2021.

Moreover, the region and capital city have 12 142 people who are not covered by the 3G network, while 17 447 people are not having access to the 4G network.

In terms of mobile broadband, subscribers have increased from 1,72 million in the second quarter of 2020 to 1,87 million by the end of June 2021.

According to CRAN analysis, mobile broadband users continue to increase constantly. 

“The continuing growth may have been attributed to the ability to pre-pay for internet access and easier usage of mobile as compared to PCs and laptops,” the report read.

In terms of fibre, the report has revealed that !Karas Region rules with 3 044 km of fibre have been laid in the region, while Ohangwena Region has the least fibre extension, with only 199 KM covered.

CRAN observed that fibre to the Premises (FTTx) is increasing slowly. 

The report added that this might be attributed to the fact that fibre networks are only available in certain areas. Email: erastus@thevillager.com.na

 

Julia Heita

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