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Paratus Telecom plans R150m network expansion in Namibia

Paratus Telecom plans R150m network expansion in Namibia

Paratus Telecom plans to deepen its existing fibre network in Namibia and has announced a R150m fibre network expansion programme to be rolled out over three years.

Of the amount to be invested, R100m will be spent on fibre infrastructure, according to the operator.

In November 2016, Paratus Telecom partnered with developers of Finkenstein Manor and Finkenstein Village to create the first Namibian digital village offering residents Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH).

Paratus Telecoms Group CEO Barney Harmse says the project, East of Windhoek, is one of the company's first successes and he believes, the first FTTH deployment in Africa for a privately owned Pan-African operator, built on own infrastructure.

"We have already started to deploy fibre to 550 homes, but the fibre infrastructure will eventually be deployed to more than 1000 homes and will provide an all-inclusive turn-key service solution to residents."

The company's value proposition to residents is the offer of access to triple-play connectivity, including voice, video and data solutions.

In terms of general fibre technology installation, Paratus Telecom says it has already laid 100km of fibre using its end-to-end solution, which the company points out is independent of any third-party infrastructure.

"This includes metro services for larger organisations and GPon FTTx for consumers and small businesses in Windhoek and Katima Mulilo," the company explains.

Paratus Telecom says FTTx is more than a hundred times faster than traditional technologies like copper networks or wireless services and at the same time offers highly consistent speeds.

However, last year in South Africa, the speed of fibre broadband connection and relevant costs remains issues of debate.

In July 2016 Warren Bonheim, Chief Commercial Officer at ISP Zinia, warned that with the roll out of fibre networks, it was inevitable that broadband prices would "start bottoming out", but added that cheaper doesn't necessarily guarantee the delivery of speeds promised.

Citing 2015 Ookla Household Value Index statistics, in which SA was ranked 56 out of 64 tested countries when comparing actual speed and "promised speed", Bonheim believes South African broadband users still get relatively low value compared to the rest of the world.

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