Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Minister Joel Kaapanda said this in a speech read by his Special Advisor, Mvula ya Nangolo during the launch of the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions Report of 2013 in the capital on Thursday.
Kaapanda said the arrival of WACS in 2011, through which the governments of Namibia and Botswana, in collaboration with Telecom Namibia, Botswana Telecom and Mobile Telecommunications limited (MTC), has laid the foundation with state-of-the-art infrastructure for ICT promotion, growth and development.
“I am also happy to note that Telecom Namibia is currently in the process of establishing its own international points of presence (PoP) in various countries from which our neighbours would also benefit immensely,” he said.
The PoPs, to be located in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Frankfurt and London, would be procured and build by NewTelco South Africa for exclusive use by Telecom Namibia.
The minister noted that ICT, and more specifically the TMT sector, has become an integral part of people’s lives around the world, and it is expected that this trend will continue and even intensify in moving towards a more global village characterised by state-of the art technology, which moves everyone closer together without really having to meet face-to-face.
Thus, Kaapanda said the need to continuously develop innovative ideas to make ICT part of everyday lives require effort from everyone, ranging from the public sector which allows for a framework for these developments to take place, to the private sector which makes sure that innovation remains ‘top of mind’ in their business.
“I am encouraged that our local ICT industry is indeed coming into its own and has made great strides in keeping with the technological advancement of the world,” he said.
Kaapanda noted that the mobile telephony penetration in Namibia has now passed 110 per cent with about 2.35 million active customers for both Global System for Mobile (GSM) Communication and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) combined.
The minister further stressed that MTC has more than 80 000 customers who access the Internet through a personal computer or tablets and over 470 000 via their mobile phones, and close to 550 000 users accessing mobile Internet from various platforms.
Fixed broadband penetration increased by 28,7 per cent during 2011, and the same growth is expected this year. Fixed broadband penetration currently stands at 5.3 per cent per individual.