Paratus first to convince NamPower to open its country-wide fibre optic network to private sector operators
NamPower’s extensive fibre optic network that has been sitting idle for thirty years, is now for the first time employed to extend high-speed data and telecommunication services to areas where connectivity is restricted or limited by existing infrastructure.
Not known to many, NamPower has an installed fibre optic capacity running parallel to its electricity distribution grid, used mainly for monitoring of high voltage lines. Over the years, many interested developers have tried to coax NamPower into deals to let their redundant fibre capacity to private sector telecommunications companies. None of the earlier attempts however, have lead to any agreement but this week Paratus announced that they have signed an agreement with the power utility to utilise its fibre network that basically covers the entire Namibia.
Paratus Africa and Nampower said they have signed an agreement to commercialise the utility’s national fibre optic network by launching The GridOnline. It will now provide access to its national Optical Ground Wire (OPGW) network.
Paratus said part of its investment strategy, introduced last year, is “to include access into The GridOnline in strategic locations in order to extend both its national fibre coverage as well as creating sufficient redundancy for its routes in and across Namibia.”
Paratus Chief Executive, Barney Harmse said that they have been doing extensive construction and testing. “We completed access into the Van Eck (Windhoek) and Swakopmund sub-station months ago. We went through an extensive and vigorous test phase. We have already commenced construction into the Zambezi (Caprivi) and Walvis Bay sub-stations.”
“It was crucial to ensure that the interconnection between the two organisations was functioning optimally before active traffic could be sent across the various routes. Paratus already provides redundancy on its fibre network from the to Caprivi, Botswana and through South Africa into its international network,” said Harmse.
“We would not have been able to achieve this milestone without the continued support of our partners, resellers and esteemed corporate customers,” he said
Paratus has a network of operational offices in Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia. It further provides connectivity services to more than 20 African countries through an extensive partner network.
Caption: Paratus Africa’s Chief Executive, Barney Harmse (right) has reason to smile. The aggressively growing private telecommunications utility announced this week it has entered into an agreement with the national power utility, NamPower, to utilise the latter’s extensive fibre optic network to extend reach and to increase redundancy. Witnessing the occasion on behalf of NamPower is its Managing Director, Kahenge Haulofu.