How MTC selects tower spots

03 November 2020 | Infrastructure

MTC clarified what the selection criteria and procedures are for setting up network towers in Namibia. This followed after a claim by some community members of Amilema village that the replotting of MTC’s network tower in their area was politically motivated.
Speaking at a press briefing in Windhoek on Monday, MTC Chief Human Capital Officer Tim Ekandjo described the claim as “unfounded, misinformed and a sheer indictment to blemish the good progress made thus far by the 081Every1 project”.
Ekandjo said when deciding where to set up a network tower, they consider three procedures or determining factors. “We use the latest census information to analyse and understand the population density of a particular area. Secondly, we do what is called drive testing - a technical process of measuring and assessing mobile radio network coverage, capacity and quality. This helps us identify areas with poor or no network coverage. Thirdly, we use geographic information system (GIS) planning for new locations to be considered under Project 081Every1. The GIS is loaded with various map layers - coverage, terrain data, clutter and population information.”

Network optimisation
He said that MTC also does microwave transmission planning which allows them to maintain network radio waves and signal balancing and avoid radius overlapping.
“After numerous tests and based on the results of the above three determining factors, the Amilema site needed to be slightly moved to its new current geographical point for network optimisation, and prevent overlap of coverage, as well as to increase the amount of population to be covered,” he said.
Ekandjo said Amilema’s new site is positioned to ensure maximum improvement in coverage for the entire area and not only to the school and village.
“MTC has a duty to the nation and at the core of it is the responsibility and commitment to assure that our every effort is calculated and geared to provide quality network connectivity to all Namibians. So this claim will not derail us.”
He noted that MTC was already working on a public informative piece on the subject of site identification and plotting. “We were already in a process of compiling a public educational piece with regards to network site plotting, and procedures followed thereof; and ensuing the Amilema claims, the urgency and need to inform and educate the public was prioritised in order to prevent possible further misconception.” – Nampa