MTC Namibia pushes network modernisation agenda
Mobile operator MTC Namibia has launched the second phase of its network modernisation project.
The N$1.1-billion project was initiated in August 2017 and involves 17 local companies with the objective to improve access to telecommunications services.
The goal is to construct 524 telecom sites across the country, focusing on the provision of 3G in rural areas and 4G in urban areas.
The target for the first phase was to establish 111 sites, but this was surpassed with the successful deployment of 132 sites according to Tim Ekandjo, director of institutional affairs and spokesperson for MTC Namibia.
“Of the 132 sites, 122 are in service and carrying traffic, ten others are already fully built and just waiting to be supplied with electricity and three sites operate on MTC generators. We are satisfied with the progress we have made so far and are confident that all the sites will be commissioned by the end of March 2020,” Ekandjo said.
During the official launch in 2017, Thinus Smit, acting chief executive officer at MTC said the project would run until October 2019. However delays have resulted in an extension to the deadline until late 2020.
"With the increasing usage of smartphones and rise in mobile broadband, MTC saw the need to enhance the quality of its network for greater customer satisfaction. There is a noticeable rapid growth in technology, where customers engage in an increasing number of ways with the network and this enhanced network coverage project will aid these communications," Smit said.
During the second phase of the project, a total of 102 sites are expected to be constructed by the end of September 2020. Of the 102 sites in this phase, 87 will be built in rural areas while 15 will be in urban areas.
The investment in its network continues as the company prepares for its anticipated initial public offering (IPO).
Journey to IPO
In May 2019, ITWeb Africa reported the operator initiated its plan to officially list on the Namibia Stock Exchange (NSX).
Ekandjo confirmed the process is expected to be completed within 15 months and will pave the way for the listing of MTC on the local bourse in March 2020.
"We plan to submit the application for registration to the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) in February 2020 and announce the opening date of the public offering in March 2020. The closing of the public offering is expected to take place in June 2020. We are officially planning to register on the NSX by July 2020, based on regulatory approvals," said Ekandjo.
When the IPO goes through, MTC will become the first state-owned enterprise to list on the NSX.
Furthermore, the latest update from the NSX showed the opening date for MTC Namibia’s IPO has been set for March 2020 and the listing is expected in July 2020.
MTC is Namibia's biggest operator with over 2.5 million subscribers. Established in 1994, it enjoyed monopoly in the market prior to the entrance of competitors.