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80% population network coverage by 2020 - Tweya?á

Fri, 1 September 2017 17:57
by Rodney Pienaar

Namibia is on the right track to achieve its goal of 80% population network coverage by 2020. The Minister of Information Communication Technology (MICT) Tjekero Tweya told The Villager that 100% population network coverage is one of the sub-pillars of Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) under the MICT and the ministry has made progress in achieving the target.

“We will make it possible, this is the purpose, and when I say by then I would like to be there, I will make a plan to be there. This is why we said that by 2030 we would have 100 percent coverage it is just a matter of time and hard work,” he said.

 He further said infrastructure sharing would enable all stakeholders‘ dream come true as this is not a one man’s battle but for the whole of the country. Tweya said there is a strong justification to do so due to among other things, an inflationary impact cost recovery in respect of operational activities and capital investment about spectrum management.

Tweya explained that the communications act directs telecommunications and broadcasting services licenses and utilities to share infrastructure to promote competition and the other objectives of the Act. Infrastructure Sharing offers a myriad of advantages such as the reduction in capital and operational investment requirements, lowering of environmental impact and energy requirements and the creation of new revenue streams for the licensees and or utilities.

“Although various forms of sharing of tangible network facilities already exist within the sector, CRAN has the responsibility to regulate and ensure that any conditions and charges for the lease of infrastructure are reasonable, non-discriminatory and fairly apportioned,” he said.

He further added that infrastructure sharing plays the most vital role to achieve the dream of 100 percent infrastructure sharing Infrastructure sharing will help to minimise duplication of facilities and frees up capital for strategic investment and provides for new services, offering and decreasing barriers to market entry for new players.

However, at a recently held broadband policy meeting, CRAN said that it is also looking into the quality of services provided for affordability. One of the target issues are the prices of data bundles and affordability of data bundles to ordinary citizens of the country, The Villager understands.