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Telecom targets rural connectivity…as Shanapinda maps the way forward

2021-01-12  Maihapa Ndjavera

Telecom targets rural connectivity…as Shanapinda maps the way forward

Recently appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Telecom Namibia, Stanley Shanapinda, intends to leverage the parastatal’s current footprint to become a leading telecommunications institution in the country.

“We are busy studying the market in terms of locations where we don’t have towers, so we are looking at a rural focus, for example where customers may be on 2G service network, now we are looking at how we can incentivise customers to use faster services,” said Shanapinda.
He explained that Telecom is looking into installations and conversions from 2G to 3G upgrades as a way for better services. Another option being explored by the youthful CEO and his team is leveraging in terms of their partnerships as it pertains to infrastructure sharing and collaboration with market operators where Telecom does not exist. 

“They can look at how we can enter into sharing arrangements that we can provide the services to our customers because there is no need for duplicating the (infrastructure) efforts,” he stated.
Furthermore, Shanapinda revealed that his key priority from the integrated strategic plan would be working on delivering projects aimed at improving customer experiences. 

Telecom has received many complaints from customers in terms of service delivery and in regaining customer confidence, the new CEO said he hopes to improve the quality of services in maintaining and upgrading their base stations while phasing out 2G and 3G installations for faster services via 4G. 

During an exclusive interview with New Era’s Inside Business, Shanapinda further said resources are always a challenge, “but we are looking at developing a completely new business plan in terms of our 5G roll out and acquiring the necessary investments for this rollout. As the leading information communication technology (ICT) provider in the country, there is no question that we have to be in the 5G space”.
He continued that government has options in stimulating local growth and investment and thus would be looking at financing options through the Development Bank of Namibia, for example, to be able to roll out the 5G infrastructure. 
“We do have sites that are 5G ready, 50%, but we need to implement some plans to activate those sites to provide the 5G services,” Shanapinda added.

Meanwhile, chairperson of Telecom’s board of directors, Jerry Muadinohamba, last week said 2020 was indeed an extremely difficult year for most organisations and Telecom Namibia was no exception.  
“We have managed to keep the ship afloat despite the various challenges while eagerly awaiting the arrival of a substance CEO. What is clearer than ever before, is that we cannot achieve success with a leadership vacuum,” said Muadinohamba. 

He further indicated that with Shanapinda’s cohesive leadership style, he is assured of his ability to move Telecom forward simultaneously on multiple fronts and managing the total impact as an enterprise. 

2021-01-12  Maihapa Ndjavera

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