RUNDU – Divundu village’s convenience store boasts satellite technology.
This is after Hombe supermarket previously struggled to ensure consistent connectivity for the reliable processing of card transactions.
Hombe supermarket offers the only fuel service station between Rundu and Kongola, as it is situated at Divundu village approximately 200 km east of Rundu.
The retail outlet also has an expanded portfolio of services for locals and tourists passing through the Divundu village.
This includes fuel, a takeaway outlet, fresh food and groceries.
The supermarket stays open 24 hours, particularly to meet the needs of locals working long hours.
Previously, customers, including tourists, would struggle to pay for services due to poor telecommunication network.
However, through a partnership with First National Bank (FNB), Hombe enlisted the Q-KON’s Twoobii smart satellite broadband service, which has been able to offer a connectivity solution to make shopping in this ‘off-grid’ location even more convenient.
“Twoobii smart satellite broadband service has been certified for FNB Point of Sale (POS) connectivity, and Hombe supermarket can now reliably run both wired and wireless payment terminals for use in all areas of the store and fuel station forecourt, provide improved CCTV security systems and even offer Wi-Fi services to customers,” said Toze Azevedo, owner of Hombe supermarket.
“Our goal is to continuously improve the service we offer to residents and visitors – and this includes investing in new technology that has the potential to make their lives easier,” he added.
Twoobii is a high-throughput satellite connectivity service, powered by the latest Intelsat platforms and managed by a leading satellite engineering enterprise – Q-KON.
Q-KON is a first-tier provider of integrated access services specialising in turnkey telecommunications solutions and value-added distribution, configuration, integration and installation services for Africa.
“Since we began operating on the Twoobii service, we have experienced very effective connectivity, with consistent speeds even during heavy thunderstorms,” explained Toze Azevedo.
“The 24-hour aftersales service is also brilliant. The people we deal with at Twoobii are always professional and helpful. Downtime is non-existent,” he added.
In remote communities – of which Namibia has many – supermarkets are much more than just places to go shopping.
They effectively become community centres – places for people to meet and share stories as they stock up on essentials.
Hombe has been the face of Divundu for the past years, clinging onto the status of one of the oldest business Centre in the Kavango East village of Divundu, and it is the only convenience store in the village of Divundu on the banks of the Kavango River in Kavango East, about 200km east of the town of Rundu.
“The success of the installation at Hombe supermarket is a great example of the transformative effect that Smart Satellite Services can have on Namibian businesses and Namibian communities,” commented Manfred Engling, managing director of Q-KON Namibia, the satellite engineering enterprise behind Twoobii Smart Satellite Services.
“Satellite technology is a contemporary solution to long-standing challenges in off-grid locations. The satellites may be in orbit, but the services they enable are certainly felt at a grassroots level,” Engling added.
Operating in a remote location brings with it the advantage of being able to have a positive impact on the lives of customers.
However, it also presents multiple logistical and connectivity challenges, and this is where the traditional role of the village store is being enabled by modern communications technology.