PowerCom’s tower refurbishment in Walvis Bay to improve communication network coverage
PowerCom announced that the company is in the process of refurbishing its Walvis Bay tower, highlighting the direct and indirect benefits of the refurbishment.
The refurbishment exercise forms part of the company’s commitment to provide routine maintenance to infrastructure and ensure that tower structures remain in good condition throughout their lifetime.
PowerCom CEO, Alisa Amupolo, said that the exercise is vital for the safety of the ecosystem that the company operates in.
“The end user benefits through safety and the life expectancy of the tower is increased, creating confidence when networks are rolled out on PowerCom’s sites,” she added.
The Walvis Bay tower was originally constructed in 2006 and is 50m wide, carrying a capacity of 14-m2. Located at NPTH Building, which is also home to Telecom Namibia’s Walvis Bay office, it is 1 of 2 tower sites in Walvis Bay itself, with another 21 towers situated elsewhere in the Erongo Region.
Refurbishment has been taking place over the last 2 months at an estimated cost of N$ 700,000. The process involves quality assurance inspections by both PowerCom and the contractor.
The usual quality assurance process when refurbishing involves correcting and repairing any work highlighted in the structural analysis. The final inspection will be conducted 12 months post-handover, with any flaws reported back to the contractor. Contractors are expected to fix any deficiencies before the 10% retention is paid.
Amupolo elaborated on the specifics of the refurbishment, explaining that the process included removing and replacing all corroded parts of the tower, including nuts and bolts, as well as repainting the structure to bring it into harmony with towers constructed more recently.
Amupolo also discussed the challenges of the refurbishment. The long distances to the site were problematic for transporting materials, with some imported from abroad as they are not manufactured locally. In addition, the country’s vast landscape, as well as the climatic conditions in coastal areas, makes the towers more prone to corrosion than you would find elsewhere. This necessitates more routine maintenance than you would usually expect to undertake inland. Generally, tower refurbishments do not require frequent upgrading unless structural instability is identified, or client, personnel and community safety is at risk.
“Similarly, we are playing an enabling role in the development of communication network coverage to the residents of the town, a hub of connectivity for all operators,” Amupolo concluded.
Caption: Caption: Walvis Bay Site currently under construction / PowerCom CEO, Alisa Amupolo & Senior Manager: Infrastructure, Patrick Britz with refurbishment team.