MTC signal issues cut Tsumkwe residents off from Namibia

NO NETWORK … The 6 000 residents of the Tsumkwe constituency are affected daily by the prevalent prob- lems they have been expe- riencing with MTC network signals.

Tsumkwe residents say Mobile Telecommunications (MTC) network struggles are severing their connection to the rest of Namibia and the world.

The 6 000 residents of the Tsumkwe constituency are affected daily by the prevalent problems they have been experiencing with MTC network signals.

They say the signal disappears for entire days at a time whenever there is a change in the weather.

The latest network issue, from Sunday evening to Tuesday morning, lasted 36 hours.

According to Tsumkwe councillor, Johannes Hausiku, the network issue is still pervasive, despite the constituency having had six network towers erected by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology and MTC.

Hausiku says his office has contacted the MTC offices about the network towers and informed them of the issue.

“The response was that they know what is happening and what is affecting the network and they are working on it,” he says.

However, Hausiku says the unreliability of the network towers is affecting 5 000 to 6 000 residents.

Tsumkwe Clinic student nurse Gideon Rupare (29) says the problems with the network have been affecting his studies.

“The network is causing me to attend to emails about information on tests late. It is also causing all my school work submissions to be late,” he says. “Sometimes I have to request to write my test around 13h30 and 14h30, because I might have network outages at night,” he adds.

Tsumkwe Clinic ambulance driver Dam Kguca (38) says the network is hindering ambulance services, as towns within the constituency are located far from each other.

“Sometimes from Tsumkwe to Gam, there is cover, but from Tsumkwe to Dobe border post, there is no cover.

So if those people have a sick person, they have to use the phones from border police,” he says.

“We can’t make calls to Grootfontein State Hospital doctors to get orders for what medical assistance to give a patient. And sometimes, we can’t fuel the ambulance because of the network . . . We really need support for this to not happen again,” Kguca says.

An unnamed individual says she has been experiencing issues with the network since relocating to Tsumkwe at the beginning of June.

She says the network issues reduced productivity and caused her relatives outside of Tsumkwe to worry since they cannot get a hold of her.

“The network here is really terrible, I just came to Tsumkwe at the beginning of the month, but since I came, the network has been going on and off,” she says.

She says she is afraid of losing job opportunities because of the network issues.

“Just imagine if you had applied for a job somewhere and they called you on that exact day when there was no network, meaning that you would lose that opportunity,” she says.

MTC spokesperson Erastus Nekundi says MTC consistently monitors their network when an issue is encountered.

He says their dedicated team is always ready to ensure service interruptions are kept to a minimum. “An unanticipated network issue experienced in the Tsumkwe area was detected by the national monitoring and quality control centre and resolved by the technical teams,” he says.

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