NAMIBIAN 2ND MOBILE OPERATOR POWERCOM SAYS STILL GROWTH IN MOBILE TELEPHONE MARKET

Telecoms

Powercom, which was recently awarded the second cellular phone licence, believes there is still room for growth in the Namibian mobile telephone market despite the strong performance by Mobile Telecommunications (MTC) in the last ten years. MTC claims to have 410,000 subscribers.

This week, the executive chairman of Telecom Management Partners AS (TMP), Christian Erlandsen said the growth potential would benefit both Powercom and MTC.

TMP through Telenor has a 39% stake in Powercom. Erlandsen said Powercom is planning to start operating early next year. "We are planning to start operations as soon as is practically possible," said Erlandsen in an interview. Powercom plans to invest more than N$500 million to start operations Erlandsen said. Erlandsen said Powercom was currently having talks with lenders and supplies to source the money and equipment to set up Powercom. He said the company will be providing services to the whole country including rural areas but added that the investment in urban areas will be important for Powercom to operator profitably.

TMP plans to consolidate its activities in other African countries and this week it announced the appointment of former NamPower MD Dr Leake Hangala as its senior vice president, with effect from 1 June. Erlandsen said part of Hangala's portfolio would be to oversee the company's activities in Africa. TMP has cellular telephone operations in several other African countries including Ghana and Kenya. Erlandsen said TMP intends to expand its operations on the continent.

Namibia Economist