PowerCom Pty Ltd has commenced with the planned tower construction in Walvis Bay Extension 17. A recent ground-breaking ceremony confirmed the tower’s commencement as well as the company’s infrastructure CAPEX investment rollout for 2019/2020, which seeks to increase the company’s footprint and asset base to best service ICT players and offer last mile connectivity.
The Walvis Bay Ext 17 construction project is the first of 19 tower developments due to take place in the coming months, all working towards fulfilling PowerCom’s mandate of growing infrastructure across the country. PowerCom’s CEO, Alisa Amupolo, mentioned Walvis Bay’s strategic importance, stating that the company seeks to align itself with the town’s growth and respond to growth demands of its inhabitants: “Due to the National Oil Storage Hub , apartment blocks, service station and the future shopping mall, it is a location demanding the type of communications infrastructure investment PowerCom offers.”
It takes on average around 90 days to construct a tower. Since, the foundation of Walvis Bay Ext 17 has already been established, the tower is expected to be fully constructed by 20 March and to be fully operational by 1 April, with connected clients able to utilise its services.
The investment into Walvis Bay forms part of PowerCom’s infrastructure footprint expansion strategy of investing N$24 million into building 19 towers by September 2020. A total of N$5 602 600 will be invested in Walvis Bay alone, through the construction and refurbishment of four other towers in the town, namely, Walvis Bay Harbour, Walvis Bay Golf Course, Walvis Bay Ext.17, Narraville and refurbishment of Walvis Bay tower Walkway.
In partnership with various stakeholders, PowerCom says it has identified significant coverage gaps where either 2G and 3G coverage is very weak – and 4G coverage even worse. PowerCom’s Board Chairperson, Irene Simeon-Kurtz, states that mobile coverage and internet access are pivotal for businesses to thrive, and is a key component of PowerCom’s value proposition to Namibia: “By providing the infrastructure for businesses to communicate and develop, we therefore add to our country’s economy.”
The Minister of ICT, Stanley Simataa, acknowledged Walvis Bay’s strategic location as being a logistic hub and a growing haven of activity, where tourists visit and thousands of Namibians come to work and enjoy their leisure time.
“As the importance of this area continues to grow, it is crucial that connectivity keeps pace with it. PowerCom’s response to the growth within this region is of benefit to all residing and working here, and it is my firm belief that their investments will further stimulate other investment, both national and international. As Walvis Bay is also a tourist hub, it is important that we are able to offer travellers the connectivity they expect from a tower such as this strategically located at the Independence Beach.”
Meanwhile, Amupolo continued that PowerCom understands its responsibility as an infrastructure provider to anticipate future demands as much as possible. She added that plans from Walvis Bay municipality for the expansion of Farm 37 have also resulted in the company examining their own infrastructure plans for 2021 to ascertain whether that community can also be effectively serviced by ICT infrastructure.
“As communities continue to expand, PowerCom’s commitment is to be present and aid in that expansion,” Amupolo concluded.