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Infrastructure vital for mobile networks - PowerCom

2018-09-06  Staff Reporter

Infrastructure vital for mobile networks - PowerCom

WINDHOEK- PowerCom Pty Ltd welcomed stakeholders onto site on Wednesday to enable them to witness first-hand how Namibia’s connectivity operates and how the company’s infrastructure powers the ICT industry in Namibia. The tour, attended by Stanley Simataa, the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, took place at the Gross Herzog site located 5km outside Windhoek in the vicinity of Regenstein estate. The site is home to nine PowerCom clients and remains a popular location for new occupancy and upgrade applications. 

The tour was organised as part of PowerCom’s commitment to inform and educate clients and other stakeholders about the role the company plays in the service delivery process and ICT ecosystem at large. 

It demonstrated that effective infrastructure is vital for access to mobile network, data and internet services, along with the company’s unique value proposition on its infrastructure sharing model. 

PowerCom’s Board Chairperson, Irene Simeon-Kurtz highlighted that: “Sharing infrastructure is a huge contributor to the sustainability of the PowerCom model. No duplicated infrastructure means lower carbon emissions, and this contributes to the safety hallmark, along with the reduced risk of radiation exposure caused by a commitment to the integrity of all infrastructure.”

Infrastructure sharing still enables the needs of individual clients to be met. The process of onboarding was discussed, highlighting that tower space is only granted upon the awarding of a relevant licence from CRAN followed by an intensive site survey that analyses the specific tower configurations in relation to the client’s requirements. Turnaround time for onboarding is generally between 10 and at maximum 30 days, depending on the tower location, equipment dimension and deployment lead times which can be based on transmission. 

Simataa reiterated the importance of shared infrastructure as a key focus of the ministry’s blueprint for ICT businesses and the importance of appropriate licensing. “Duplication is a waste of resources in every way, so the continuation of shared infrastructure is vital to technological growth and improvement. Protecting consumers and the organisations delivering connectivity services is an integral aspect of the work that the ministry undertakes across our spheres of activities,” he stated. 

PowerCom’s onboarding business process reduces much of the potential for transmission interruptions. Their technical and licensing checks ahead of space allocation ensures all existing and new tower clients are protected from interference. 
The Gross Herzog tower, which reaches to a height of 41.2 metres, has been in operation for 40 years and, like all crucial pieces of infrastructure managed by PowerCom, it is regularly maintained every 18 months to confirm its safety and efficiency. Construction of such a concrete tower can cost up to N$ 10 million, 

PowerCom’s CEO Alisa Amupolo stated as she took stakeholders through the connectivity process: “Every tower we construct and refurbish is subject to a decision-making process that examines the requirements of the local infrastructure and balances them against the capital outlay necessary to commission the tower. There are many financial elements to consider, including the costs of site acquisition, structural designs, environmental impact assessments, equipment costs, civil works, site development, access, power and insurance considerations.”

Simataa further noted that Namibia’s technology sector must adapt to changes rapidly, highlighting the introduction of 4.5G and the global launch of 5G in recent years. Such innovations have raised infrastructure demand, and the country must maintain an ability to embrace analogue and digital migration, while stimulating further service demands for infrastructure.

2018-09-06  Staff Reporter

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