NamPower enables telecommunication start-ups to enter market

07 Mar 2019 17:10pm
WINDHOEK, 07 MAR (NAMPA) – NamPower has launched Grid Online, which will enable local telecommunications start-up companies to enter a market which is currently primarily dominated by MTC and tn mobile.
Speaking at the launch on Wednesday, NamPower Managing Director Kahenge Haulofu said through their offering, start-up companies would be able to enter the market without the burden of expensive network-providing infrastructure as it would be provided by the power utility as part of its existing structures.
Explaining what the product entails, Haulofu said: “Grid Online is a name for a product offering that avails telecommunications infrastructure sharing of NamPower’s versatile fibre optic network to other parties.”
He also pointed out the important role this product plays in the development of the country.
“The business development and innovation function will leverage NamPower’s existing experience and skills set in the development of new service offerings. The establishment of this will also create new opportunities for employees to develop new skills and capabilities to grow into new positions and responsibilities,” Haulofu added.
Also speaking at the launch was Minister of Information and Communication Technology Stanley Simataa, who said Grid Online will address challenges Namibia has been dealing with in terms of internet connection.
He stated that telecommunication back-haul infrastructure for very remote rural areas is insufficient.
“I am challenging all ICT providers to maximise this backbone to provide services to the hitherto underserviced parts of our country. This will be achieved without having to construct large and costly backbone network infrastructure,” he said.
Another challenge Simataa mentioned was the high unit cost of rolling out infrastructure, which in turn affects the affordability of services provided.
“Above all, it leads to unwarranted duplication of infrastructure which in turn negates the set policy of sharing infrastructure. Sharing existing infrastructure yields noteworthy reduction in the requisite start-up capital for ICT operators, both new and established alike,” Simataa explained.
Another struggle faced is the prevailing challenge of limited internet access points in public facilities, especially in rural areas.
“The significant reduction in the unit cost of rolling out infrastructure, should lead to a concomitant decrease in the costs of providing services,” Simataa added.