Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), has announced its plans to invest N$1.1 billion in expanding its network capacity through the 081EVERY1 project this was announced at a press conference in the capital this week. The undertaking of this billion-dollar project is slated to commence in October 2017 and will run until October 2019, according to Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Thinus Smit.
“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,” Smit said.
He added that currently, MTC has mainly full 3G and 4G coverage in the urban areas and has limited coverage in most rural areas which are covered by 2G and the aim with this investment is to have the same technology needs move to rural areas. MTC will construct over 524 new sites which will see it increasing its footprints towards a tenfold network standard set to benefit the 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 Namibia.
“Part of the project is driven towards the anticipation of full system convergence especially with pending Internet of Things (IoT), and the long awaited 5G technology – shortly after the successful trial of advanced LTE May 2016 by the company,” Smit said. He further added that part of the investment; this billion-dollar project will see the introduction of 3G in major rural areas, especially in areas previously only serviced before by the 2G sector. Chairman of Board of Directors Elvis Nashilongo reiterated that quality of network infrastructure is the foundation of digitalization.
“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,” he said.
He further noted that on the convergence, billing and rating systems, since 2011 MTC has invested over N$400 million and to date, the company’s total capital investment stands at N$3.94 billion which represents 95% of our net profit. The Villager understands that despite operating in challenging environments, MTC has consistently paid dividends to the shareholder which amounted N$3,85 billion since 2007 and paid taxes into the National Treasury to the tune of N$3,3 billion over the last ten years.
MTC has also invested over N$237 million dollars to upgrade its Core Systems, whilst it has also ensured that it builds its own transmission network capacity to the tune of N$397 million. “I wish to point out that although 100% population coverage is central to our business expansion strategies, we are not oblivious of the role that other players will be required to play in this noble project,” he said.