Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Remote areas get broadband in Namibia

This year’s World Telecommunication & Information Society Day was held under the theme – Better Life in Rural Communities with ICTs.

In this article, we shares Telecom Namibia’s successes and goals for the future with respect to development of the telecommunications services and highlights the company’s commitment in enhancing the sector to cover the rural areas.

The main theme of this year’s WTISD aims to ensure that ICTs will contribute to a better future for our rural populations. In the rural context, ICTs provide enhanced opportunities to generate income and combat poverty, hunger, ill health and illiteracy.

 Telecom Namibia has attached a special emphasis on extending telecommunication services to people living in remote areas. Of late, the company is offering telecommunication service through wireless local loops (WLLs) in less populated remote areas spread across the country.

“We are in greater need than ever before for providing the remotest areas in the country with premium voice and internet services, in addition to eliminating digital illiteracy so as to enable all individuals of the society to acquire electronic services and benefit from the better services offered in such fields as health care, education, as well as means of obtaining information and knowledge,” said Oiva Angula, senior manager of Corporate Communications and Public Relations.

 “Our commitment as a business is to deploy state-of-the-art technologies and providing services for rural and urban residents alike. In this way, the ICT sector can contribute to overcoming all geographical barriers by reaching out to all the different Namibian cities and villages,” Angula added.

 Highlighting the challenges faced by Telecom Namibia, the PR chief said mountains and valleys make it difficult for the companies to give coverage.

 Telecom Namibia is mainly using CDMA, VSAT and WiMAX platforms to provide voice connectivity and broadband internet services to rural communities in Namibia.

 “The ultimate objectives behind employing these technologies include offering high-quality services, saving time and effort, enabling rural communities to participate actively and benefit from the fruits of modern technology,” Angula said.

 Of the existing 66 CDMA base stations in the country, a good number of them are in the rural areas, providing telecommunication services to villages around towns such as Ondangwa, Katima Mulilo, Oshikango, Opuwo, Rundu, Okakarara, Oshakati, Oshivelo, Omuthiya, Okahao’ Ombalantu, Ohangwena, Oluno, Rehoboth, Ongwediva, Eenana, Omundaungilo, Onesi, and Ondobe -  to mention a few.

 In May 2011, Telecom Namibia deployed a SkyEdge II Broadband Satellite Network to serve hundreds of locations throughout Namibia. In addition to providing network connectivity for businesses and residential customers, Telecom Namibia will provide telephony and broadband internet services to remote communities across the country.

This is a multi-service platform capable of delivering high-quality voice, broadband data and video services for different environments. The new platform is also serving as backhaul transmission to eight small digital exchanges (SDEs), connecting remotely located communities such as Tsumkwe, Koes, Gam, etc.

The WiMAX connectivity became very popular among the farming community due to the powerful data/internet service and performance.

 In 2010 alone, 17 new WiMAX base stations were deployed, bring the number of active WiMAX sites in the country to roughly 60.

 “Our investment in WiMAX the past 12 months shows that Telecom Namibia has a goal to ensure that rural communities across the countries are able to get access to affordable telecommunications systems,” Angula said.

 “In this expanding digital society in which we live, now would be the worst time to limit Internet and broadband access to children and residents, especially in rural areas,” he concluded.

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