Namibia: MTC to have 45% roll-out of LTE by end 2013


NAMIBIAN mobile operator MTC intends to have a 45 percent rollout of its 4G mobile network by the end of 2013, says its CEO, Miguel Geraldes.

Geraldes said the rollout might be before the deadline the company has set itself.
MTC has a 'neutral licence', which means that it can converge its mobile technology with fixed-line services, and plans to extend its fibre-optic network to businesses first, and at a later stage to households.

This might put MTC in direct competition with Telecom Namibia, which is the sole fixed-line service provider, but Geraldes thinks MTC's move into the fixed line domain will be good for the market.

In Namibia, Geraldes said MTC can now install 'fibre rings' in Windhoek – a circular fibre-optic layout that connects to the fibre backbones that are in turn connected to base stations that links businesses and homes to the network – that will give unlimited speed to internet connectivity.

Geraldes said this would mean the cost of networks becoming more efficient, and for customers this  could mean a 10 to 20 times speed-up to connectivity at the same price.

But customers will have to expect to continue to pay for their connectivity because of the expensive nature of an infrastructure rollout.

MTC has invested N$150 million in the WACS and a further N$100 million in other infrastructure, with more infrastructural developmental projects estimated in the region of N$250 million. MTC spent N$50 million to launch the 4G mobile network in May this year, and will spend an additional N$100 million.
Within the next three years, MTC intends to make a list of investments in the telecommunication sector of N$1.2 billion over the next three years.
The company has power lines stretching 2,200 kilometres, linking the coast with  Windhoek and the southern border at Noordoewer. There is also a power line linking Windhoek to Tsumeb, and MTC is now developing a link from Tsumeb to Oshakati.

Geraldes said MTC is transporting all growth strategies from PT, which is a world leader in convergence technologies, such as FTTH. PT is currently constructing the world's sixth largest data centre, which serves as connectivity hub, in Covilhä, Portugal. This data centre will have the capacity of hosting 50,000 servers with 30 Pbytes.