By Hilary Mare
MINISTER of Information and Communication Technology, Stanley Simataa has reiterated the importance of shared infrastructure as a key focus of the Ministry’s blueprint for ICT businesses.
Speaking at the tour of the Powercom’s Gross Herzog site last week, Simataa highlighted that infrastructure duplication is a waste of resources urging companies to invest and utilise cutting-edge technologies that provide improved internet speeds and improve the affordability of appropriate devices to utilise services.
“Connectivity is the bedrock of growth and development. Through technology, essential operations of our nation and indeed government can run more effectively. It is pleasing to note that PowerCom as one of the primary players in the ICT infrastructure space is committed to the ideals of enhancing Namibia’s connectivity. It is also reassuring to see tangible steps the company is taking in pursuit of this ideal,” Simataa said.
The Minister said the development of Namibia’s ICT infrastructure is essential to further developing the Namibian economy.
According to the recent Global Competitiveness Index, Namibia ranks amongst the world’s top 100 countries in terms of technological readiness.
“This is good and yet we must improve further. Effective ICT infrastructure must meet the demands of consumers and businesses. It must be able to support our economic strategies, however conscious of the sustainability imperative of our environment. It is for this reason that government continues to place strong emphasis on the improvement of ICT infrastructure across Namibia,” Simataa said while also imploring all entities to comply with the policy on sharing ICT infrastructure,” he said.
At the event, PowerCom’s Board Chairperson, Irene Simeon-Kurtz highlighted that: “Sharing infrastructure is a huge contributor to the sustainability of the PowerCom model,”
Non-duplication of 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 infrastructure.
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 conform to 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 and development, access, power and insurance considerations,” she said.
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