Namibia’s Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) has announced that five new sites in the Oshana region of the country have been upgraded from 3G to 4G as part of the telco’s two-year NAD$1.1 billion (US$ 80 million) network infrastructure investment.
The Oshana region upgrades follow the installation of eight 4G sites in the Khomas region at the end October, with focus on the capital Windhoek’s Central Business District Area. MTC’s Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs Officer, Tim Ekandjo said the mobile operator’s goal is to achieve network coverage for every citizen.
“These exercises are a necessity due to the fast growing network traffic capacity in many parts of the country. We do not plan to stop until total population network coverage is a reality. These upgrades are underscored and rest exactly at the core of our two-year-projection. And as we continue, we plan to maintain the momentum,” he said.
The Oshana upgrades were done at Oshakati Mobile Home, Oshana Mall, Omongo, Omege, and Ondangwa Mobile Home. MTC says the increased data traffic is compounded by the rapid uptake of smartphones, with the company rolling out over 5500 partly-subsidised 4G capable devices in 2016.
“The roll-out of the aforementioned was central for us to prepare well ahead in making 4G network availability in rural and semi-urban areas a necessity, hence it is an undertaking which MTC will see implemented across the country to live up to the expectations of our valued customers,” said Ekandjo.
MTC first revealed its network expansion plan through a project named 081EVERY1 two months ago.
The initiative was officially launched by Deputy Minister of ICT in Namibia Stanley Simaata.
According to the plan 524 new network sites will be constructed over the next twenty four months in a move the operator says will see a tenfold increase of its footprint, which will benefit rural areas.
Additionally, 412 new sites will be erected in rural areas and 88 new sites in urban areas in all 14 regions of Namibia.
Plans are also in place to roll out 3G in major rural areas previously only serviced through 2G as MTC only has full 3G and 4G coverage in urban areas, with limited coverage in most rural areas which are covered by 2G.