In clear cut terms, Government has expressed concern over telecommunication congestion on both mobile and fixed line operators. Addressing a press conference Monday on the upcoming World Telecommunications and Information day to be held in Thamaga on May 24th, Transport minister Tshenolo Mabeo confirmed that government intends to address problematic factors that impede doing business in the ICT industry.
Whilst admitting that the advent of smartphones had changed the game plan, he urged the different network providers to keep in pace with ICT developments.
“The congestions are sometimes caused by networks going through temporary upgrading,” he stated.
Mabeo pointed out that Botswana prioritises ICT as an engine of growth for the economy. He, however, acknowledged impediments such as slow internet connectivity which he says impact negatively on business. He advanced government’s commitment to solving apparent market failures, which arise from the gap in broadband connectivity thus hindering access across various sectors of the economy.
“Government data network is also expected to be improved for the benefit of clients and this is work in progress,” said Mabeo.
Speaking with regard to this year’s theme, “ICT Entrepreneurship for social impact”, Mabeo reiterated that it is relevant to Botswana as she seeks to achieve inclusive growth in NDP 11. He emphasised that ICT entrepreneurs and start-ups as well as small-medium sized enterprises have a particularly relevant role in ensuring economic growth in a sustainable and inclusive manner. More so, he said such entities are involved in the development of innovative ICT enabled solutions and services with unique long lasting impact in the global and national economies.
For his part, BOFINET Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mabua Mabua said the industry is growing fast hence the need to embrace and adopt latest technologies.
According to Mabua, infrastructure that delivers service to customers hasn’t been keeping pace with the demand, adding that there has been growth of more than 100 percent in internet uptake. He stated that BOFINET has come up with strategies to make wholesale internet tariffs at par with regional and international standards.
“We are mandated to provide and operate a world class telecommunications backbone network infrastructure,” expressed Mabua.