Mobile telecommunications giant MTC has strongly refuted allegations of favouritism regarding the erection of network towers and has shed light on criteria for setting up the infrastructure.
This is in regard to claims by some community members of Amilema village in the Oshikoto region that MTC’s network tower replotting in their area is politically motivated.
Due to these claims, the residents planned to block the construction of an MTC network tower, accusing the company of reallocating the tower to be closer to the residence of Swapo parliamentarian Natangwe Ithete at Onakasino, a village about four kilometres away from Amilema.
Last week, Amilemi village residents petitioned the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), complaining about the installation of the tower.
Yesterday, MTC executive Tim Ekandjo described the claim as “unfounded, misinformed, and a sheer indictment to blemish the good progress made thus far by the 081Every1 project”.
Shedding light on how network towers get set up, Ekandjo said: “When deciding where to set up a network tower, there are three procedures or determining factors which we consider.”
He stated that MTC uses the latest census information in allocating sites to analyse and understand the population density of a particular area. He continued that they also do drive testing, which is a technical process of measuring and assessing mobile radio network coverage, capacity and quality. He explained that this helps MTC to identify areas with poor or no network coverage.
The third criteria they use when planning for new locations to be considered under Project 081Every1 is the Geographic Information System (GIS).
“The GIS is loaded with various map layers, coverage, terrain data, clutter and population information. Also worth mentioning, we also do Microwave Transmission Planning, which allows us to maintain network radio waves and signal balancing, and avoid radius overlapping,” explained Ekandjo.
The chief human capital officer indicated that after numerous tests run and based on the results of the above three determining factors, the Amilema site needed to be moved slightly to its new current geographical point for network optimisation and to prevent overlap of coverage, as well as to increase the amount of population to be covered.
He said the new Amilema site is positioned to ensure maximum improvement in coverage for the entire area and not only to the school and village as claimed by the residents
Ekandjo said the telecommunications giant is working on a public informative piece on the subject of site identification and plotting.
He added that MTC received numerous requests from the public to set up towers at their homesteads but clarified they are only available to erect towers for community benefits and not for individual purposes.