Six months after withdrawing from Angola and South African markets to concentrate on the local market, Telecom Namibia is deploying the African country's first optical dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) network.

Nokia Siemens Network will provide DWDM equipment and the network is expected to be extended to Namibia's neighboring countries, including Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana.

In withdrawing from Angolan and South African markets, where it had invested more than $80 million, the incumbent fixed line and mobile operator promised to heavily invest in the local market in order to modernize mobile communication.

Telecom Namibia announced last week that the DWDM network will be connected to the West African Submarine cable System (WACS), the global submarine cable network that landed on the country's shores in February this year.

This will ensure increased bandwidth and higher data speeds, along with improved direct international connectivity for Telecom Namibia's 145,000 subscribers (out of a population of 1.8 million people).

The DWDM network will be extended to the borders of neighboring countries and as a result, operators in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana are expected to benefit from the higher capacity and improved international connectivity through the 14,900 Km WACS.

WACS provides direct connectivity between Namibia, West Africa, United Kingdom and Portugal.

"Nokia Siemens Networks will enable Telecom Namibia to add capacity as and when it requires, by simply adding a transponder to the DWDM system," said Hein Bader, chief operating officer for Telecom Namibia in a statement last week.

Telecom Namibia is the only integrated telecommunications solution provider operating in Namibia.

Nokia Siemens Network will provide a scalable and cost-effective transport backbone to address the anticipated increase in transmission volumes, especially with WACS, expected to launch in the first quarter of next year, according to the companies.

Telecom Namibia, has not been doing well on its mobile unit aside from its data arm. In a bid to further consolidate its domination of the local market, however, Telecom Namibia bought its mobile network rival, Leo, for undisclosed amount and will fold the company into its own mobile services. Leo was owned by Telecel Globe; a subsidiary of Egypt's Orascom Telecom and was sold to a consortium of banks for $60 million earlier this year.