PowerCom, the Namibian telecoms infrastructure company, says it anticipates the remaining 14 of its N$23 million 19-tower infrastructure project, which was impacted by Covid-19, to gather speed and become central to its day-to-day operations.
This acceleration will particularly be on towers where land has been acquired, says PowerCom CEO, Alisa Amupolo. The towers are currently under going environmental study and 90 days construction is anticipated to begin in August, she says.
PowerCom’s 2020 capital investment outlay is the 5- tower Phase 1 (Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Reheboth) at N$5.2 million, which is now complete, 8 towers in Erongo region at N$ 11 million, 4 towers in Khomas region at N$ 4.6 Million, 2 towers at Otjozondjupa at N$ 1.8 million, 1 tower in Hardap at N$2 million, 1 tower at Kunene at N$1,1 million, 1 tower at Omusati at N$ 650K and 2 towers at Oshikoto at N$2,2 million.
Amupolo explains that the company’s objective in commissioning the towers is to enable telecoms operators constantly seeking to improve their coverage, and increase capacity to deploy a vast array of services to customers which may range from 2G, 3G, 4G and 4.5G services.
“By providing these infrastructures, it means individuals and businesses can communicate and facilitate business, furthermore adding value to our country’s economic growth,” she says.
Amupolo clarifies that PowerCom provides the infrastructure where operators roll out the services, and the decision of which technology should be deployed lies entirely with their clients.
PowerCom infrastructure has the strength to accommodate all sorts of technologies that their clients, she says. “We provide the passive infrastructure, the active infrastructure and equipment are vested in tenants, by virtue of our business model.”
Tenders to be advertised shortly
Amupolo outlined to BizTech Africa News the progress that has been made on the tower projects where land has already been acquired, namely in Onkani, Enghodi, Ncaute and Kupferquelle.
She says that in Onkani and Enghodi, the traditional authorities have already granted the project approval. PowerCom’s application is currently with the Communal Land board for approval to occupy the land, the scope of work is completed and the tenders are to be advertised shortly.
In the case of Kupferquelle, PowerCom has already signed a lease agreement with the private owner of the land and granted the environmental consultant a purchase order to commence the environmental study.
Meanwhile in Ncaute, the traditional authority has granted the project approval, PowerCom’s application is currently with the Communal Land board for approval to occupy the land and an environmental study is in progress.
Enabling economic growth
Amupolo notes that Phase 1 of the project, valued at N$5.2 million, has already been completed. It commenced on the 13th of January and the towers were handed over on 05 June 2020.
Phase 1 towers are predominantly based on the coastal areas of Namibia, she says. Three of the towers are located in Walvis Bay, one in Swakopmund and another in Rehoboth.
Amupolo explained that PowerCom has aligned itself with the growth of these towns and has responded to growth demands of its inhabitants in as far as connectivity is concerned. Walvis bay is a densely populated town its logistical hub, a fisheries hub and the region where the town is also home to many mines, she said.