Sunday, June 16, 2024

BoFiNet aims as providing world class telecoms

The newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Fibre Network Ltd (BoFiNet), Mabua Mabua, says the organisation is taking shape. The government-owned body will provide and operate a world class telecommunications backbone network infrastructure which will drive connectivity and economic growth.

Mabua told Sunday Standard that his priorities are establishing the organisation and issues of setting up systems as well as recruitment of staff to BoFiNet.

“BoFiNet is challenged with becoming a commercial organization that can sustain itself and also be able to reduce the cost of telecommunications to licensed Public Telecommunications Operators and value added network service providers,” he stated.

Mabua added that what is key is getting ready to receive the assets that are being separated from the Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (BTC) and operate the assets seamlessly.
“A customer should not feel the hand over from one entity to the other and that on its own it is challenging as well as the separation,” said Mabua.

He pointed out that BoFiNet is expected to distribute services to retail telecommunication companies already in existence in Botswana but will not sell directly to end users. He added that it is expected to improve competitiveness in the downstream telecommunications market and confidence from wholesale customers that BoFiNet acts in their interest.

“Our license is not exclusive for wholesale and that Public Telecommunications Operators are allowed to provide the same services BoFiNet is providing,” said Mabua.

He emphasized that ICT is a facilitator for economic growth in terms of visions and he pointed out that his immediate role is to kick start the organization and to make sure it professionally exists. Mabua said that he has been in the sector for a long time over 20 years and worked for BTC for 12 years.

“I have a feel of where the gaps are and BoFiNet is expected to distribute services to retail telecommunication companies’ already in existence in Botswana,” said Mabua.

He is optimistic that the company has the capabilities to supply other regional countries including South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe and added that there is huge demand for connectivity.

“The acquisition of stakes in the East Africa Sea System (EASSY) and (West Africa Cable System) WACS submarine cables are under BoFiNet. Also Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) system, which is designed to use to its full potential the national fibre, will also be managed by BoFiNet,” he said.

Mabua also revealed that the Botswana Communication Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) has already issued the first wholesale license which is a new category of licensing for Botswana market.

BoFiNet Communications Specialist, Kungo Mabogo, echoed Mabua’s words and emphasized that BoFiNet works towards facilitating increase and demand for broadband connectivity. Mabogo added that they will ensure affordability of internet and broadband to end users, which is expected to grow significantly due to increased internet accessibility to rural areas.

“Public education and awareness is key and critical to BoFiNet since it is a new entity, and the public need to understand its mandate and its services for them to know how it will benefit the economy of the country and what improvements it is bringing to their lives,” said Mabogo.

She observed that ICT Sector is the recent driver of the economy in developed countries and developing ones. She added that Botswana has long taken a position to promote and focus on educating Batswana and ICT is a key factor for Batswana to stay relevant in the world and for us to achieve one of the main pillars of Vision 2016.

“Botswana is known by other regional countries to be developed and current with technology so it is important that the entire country is educated and knowledgeable about the industry,” she stated.
Mabua officially started work on August 19th 2013 taking over from interim CEO Keabetswe Segole.


Read this week's paper