Paratus Namibia announces it has signed its first ‘fiber open access’ agreement onboarding Africa Online as a client. This is the first of many deals in which Paratus will share its infrastructure with licensed operators in delivering fiber connections to the broader business and domestic market in Namibia.
By removing the main barrier to enter the market, Open Access allows multiple operators to share the same fiber infrastructure and deliver services to their respective customers without the need to duplicate the costly development of that infrastructure. It enables and promotes healthy competition between operators, without any monopolistic action, and makes the service affordable to customers. Paratus Namibia is effectively disrupting the network services industry with this move by enabling fair competition and affordability to customers and users and, it more importantly, gives the economy a boost because, as its name suggests, Open Access opens economic opportunities for licensed operators to benefit from connecting to a growing fiber network. This strategic move is in line with the provisions of the Communications Act, and Paratus is excited about being the catalyst, as the first operator to actively share infrastructure in the form of an open access network.
Paratus Namibia MD, Andrew Hall says: “This is really a market disruptor because we are sharing our infrastructure in a way that has never been done before in our country. By breaking with tradition, we are launching a truly commercial initiative and giving a leg-up to the ICT industry by creating opportunities for other licensed operators to access our network. We have made significant investment in our infrastructure and this obviates the need for other operators to do so. The spin-off can only be positive and help boost business confidence. It is a win-win solution.
“We have been committed to delivering Africa’s quality network and now we are opening the valve for improved communication in Namibia; we are removing the clots; and we are letting the lifeblood of communication flow freely.”
The pace of technology, the pandemic and the prerequisite for high-speed internet are evident. People need reliable, quality connections at any time and now that e-learning and remote working are the new modus operandi, fiber is the best last mile technology to accommodate this need due to its extreme bandwidth capacity, ease of upgrade, reliability, and better consistency than most radio technology last miles. The bulk of Paratus Namibia’s investment has been in fiber infrastructure (currently running at around N$150-million annually) as the operator sees this as the best solution for today and the foreseeable future.
Africa Online is the first of many in the pipeline to sign up to Paratus Namibia’s Open Access service. Africa Online Managing Director, Ingram van Heerden says: “Partnering with Paratus to be able to offer fibre services to the Namibian market allows us to continue offering the best technology at the best price to our customers without making a huge outlay of capital investment. Paratus has made a significant infrastructure investment and rolled out a high-quality fibre network, and Africa Online is proud to be their first open access partner and to be able take advantage of this opportunity. As well as improving our value proposition to customers, this will have an immediate and positive effect on our business.”
Andrew Hall concludes: “We are extremely proud to be the conduit in offering Namibian businesses the opportunity to actively play a role in the 4th Industrial Revolution. We are delighted to be making this epic change in how operators can become competitive and help breathe new life into our economy. We are thinking big, and without limits, and we are very happy to be helping deliver unlimited connectivity to the people of Namibia.”